twitter

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Two rival governments in Libya challenge each other

The Tobruk-based House of Representatives(HoR) is challenging the UN-brokered Government of National Accord(GNA) on who has the right to export Libyan Oil.

The Maltese-flagged tanker, Seachance, was seen to be moving away tonight from the port of Hariga in Tobruk after the master was told that his ship would not be loaded. Workers at the terminal had been told not to load the tanker. The Seachange was exporting oil through the Tripoli-based National Oil Company. The HoR recognizes only its own rival NOC headquartered in the east. The HoR recognizes neither the authority of the GNA nor that of its associated Tripoli-based National Oil Company. The Seanchance probably purchased the oil through Glencore, which is thought to have an exclusive contract with the Tripoli-based NOC to load oil in Hariga.
Many countries already recognize the GNA as the only government in Libya and even before the rise of the GNA the Tripoli-based NOC was recognized as having a monopoly on the export of oil. Rebels in the east had long ago tried to export oil illegally using the tanker Morning Glory. The tanker was seized by the US and its oil offloaded in western Libya.
Not long ago the HoR tried to sell a tanker load of oil through its own oil company. The Indian-flagged Distya Ameya was loaded with 650,000 barrels of crude at Hariga port. The tanker was refused permission to land at Malta and was blacklisted by the UN. The tanker eventually headed back to unload its oil at the western port of Zawia under control of the GNA. The refusal to load the Seachance is no doubt in response to actions against the Ameya. The Seachance had spent two days standing off the port. At present, there are no other tankers at the port ready to load. The export terminal at Hariga is said to have a loading capacity of 51,000 barrels. The nearby tank farm is almost full. However a nearby refinery can process up to 20,000 barrels per day. The Wall Street Journal also has an article on the conflict.
The HoR and commander in chief of the Libyan National Army are also in conflict with the GNA over plans to attack the Islamic State and liberate the city of Sirte. Over a week ago Haftar announced that his troops along with units from the southwest were advancing towards Sirte. The GNA immediately demanded that no action should be taken until a unified command was established. As Reuters reports:But in an ominous early sign of a possible new showdown, eastern and western factions have sent separate armored columns toward Gaddafi's home town Sirte, now in the hands of fighters from Islamic State....A claim by the GNA's Presidential Council to leadership over any unified campaign against Sirte drew angry responses from the east, where hardliners already harbored federalist ambitions.
There was supposed to be a meeting of the HoR in Ghadames today to vote confidence in the GNA and amend the constitutional declaration of 2011. However, there is no report on its happening — the president of the HoR is in the Ivory Coast, so if there was a meeting he was not there.

No comments: