In response to the seizure of four oil ports in the oil crescent by the Libyan National Army commanded by General Khalifa Haftar, Martin Kobler, the Special Representative of the Secretary General (SRSG) has issued several statements.
|After the attacks began Kobler tweeted: " worried about reported fighting in the oil crescent. will add to division and further restricting oil exports. oil belongs to ALL libyans." Notice that he does not mention Hafter and the Libyan National Army(LNA) as attacking and seizing the oil ports nor mention that those holding the port are the Petroleum Facilities Guard (PFG) who have an agreement with the UN-backed Government of National Accord to open up the ports to export. Haftar does not recognize the GNA nor its national oil company (NOC) based in Tripoli. While many may be happy to see the deal with Ibrahim Jodhran fail since they consider him a renegade who has robbed Libya of millions if not billions in oil revenue, the situation is now that the GNA lacks any agreement at all and must bargain with Haftar.|
“I urge all parties to avoid any damage to the oil facilities. Natural resources belong to all Libyans and preserving oil infrastructure is in the national interest. He joins the Presidency Council’s calls for a comprehensive national consensus and expresses his support for consultations that would lead to the formation of a new Government of National Accord.No reference to the LPA nor the demand of the HoR that the PC come up with a new cabinet to be formally approved by the HoR as required by the LPA. No reference to the GNA demand that the ports be defended by force. There is division within the PC itself. It remains to be seen if there is any truth to the reports of a counter-attack. The media is agonizingly slow in reacting to events in Libya. Kobler is obviously desperate for a deal with Haftar even as Hafter positions himself to make greater and greater demands. However, Haftar's idea may simply be to see the GNA self-destruct and he will emerge as the champion fighter against terrorism and the strong man who is the only viable alternative. The west and other power brokers will come to accept him just as they accept el-Sisi in Egypt.