Field Marshal Khalifa Haftar, Commander-in-Chief of the Libyan National Army (LNA), announced on September 18 a conditional lifting of a blockade on the country’s oilfields and ports.
The LNA shut down the country’s oilfields and ports last January to pressure the Tripoli-based Government of National Accord (GNA). The government was accused of mismanaging oil revenues.
In a televised speech, Marshal Haftar said the LNA had put all “military and political considerations” aside to respond to the “deterioration of living conditions” in Libya.
“We have decided to resume oil production and export on condition of a fair distribution of revenues so it won’t be used to support terrorism,” the Libyan leader said.
Later, the LNA’s General Command revealed in an official statement that the decision to lift the blockade was the result of inter-Libyan dialogue.
According to the LNA’s statement, the revenue from oil exports will be distributed in a fair manner between the eastern and western regions of the country. A committee to resolve all related issues will be also formed.
Head of the Oil Facilities Guard in the LNA, Maj. Gen. Naji al-Maghribi, ordered all oil facilities and ports to resume work on September 19 in line with the General Command decision.
The blockade on oil production led to serious economic losses in Libya. The country has been in chaos since the 2011 NATO intervention, which overthrew the regime of al-Ghaddafi.
The warring sides in Libya appear to be closer than ever to a political settlement. The army is not the only side that is making concussions. Earlier this week, GNA head Fayez al-Sarraj announced that he would leave his post by the end of October.
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