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Libya's LNA: Oil Blockade Will Continue Until People’s Demands are Met

Libya's LNA: Oil Blockade Will Continue Until People’s Demands are Met

Sunday, 12 July, 2020 - 09:45
Pipes are pictured at al-Sharara oil field, Libya, Dec. 3, 2014. (Reuters)
Asharq Al-Awsat

Khalifa Haftar's Libyan National Army (LNA) said on Saturday it would maintain a blockade on oil production and exports that the National Oil Corp (NOC) says has cost the country $6.5 billion in lost revenue.

Friday's loading of a first tanker since January with oil from storage had led NOC to lift force majeure on all exports, though it warned that damage to fields meant it would take a long time to fully restore production.

However, LNA spokesman Ahmed al-Mismari said in an online statement that the country's oil fields and ports are "closed until the orders of the Libyan people are implemented", laying out conditions to lift the blockade.

Under existing arrangements backed by the UN, oil is produced and exported by the NOC with revenues flowing to the Central Bank of Libya. Both institutions are based in Tripoli, but the money funds public sector bodies and the salaries of state employees in all parts of the country across front lines.

Mismari demanded that revenue should flow into a new bank account outside Libya to be distributed between regions; that it should not fund GNA "terrorists and mercenaries"; and an audit of central bank accounts to investigate past spending.

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