Libyan tribes reopen oil facilities, authorize LNA to fend off militias theft attempts

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Tue, 30 Jun 2020 - 11:32 GMT

A member of the central security support force holds a weapon during the security deployment in the Tajura neighborhood, east of Tripoli, Libya December 30, 2019. REUTERS/Ismail Zitouny

A member of the central security support force holds a weapon during the security deployment in the Tajura neighborhood, east of Tripoli, Libya December 30, 2019. REUTERS/Ismail Zitouny

CAIRO – 30 June 2020: Libyan Tribes declared the resumption of the operation of oil fields and ports, and authorized Monday the Libyan National Army (LNA) to fend off attempts by militias to steal oil revenues.

In January, the tribes announced the closure of oil facilities in order to cut revenues acquired by the Government of National Accord (GNA) to pay militias and Syrian mercenaries trained and brought in by Turkey.

In the same month, the GNA and Turkey signed two MoUs on defense and gas drilling eastern the Mediterranean. Consequently, Turkey transported 15,000 Syrian mercenaries into the North African states, and sent 1,500 Turkish officers and military experts to co-command militias' operation rooms, and pilot drones from Tripoli's Mitiga Airbase. The LNA says it downed around 70 drones until present.

In Monday's statement, the tribes warned that they would shut down oil ports and fields again, if their revenues are directed at "killing Libyans."

The statement explained that the shutdown decision was aimed at demanding the international community and the United Nations to set a mechanism that ensures militias would not put their hand on oil revenues. Nevertheless, the outcome was a rise in food prices and exchange rate, and the state's inability to pay wages.

In a related context, the Syrian Observatory for Human Resources (SOHR) reported that Turkey is still training Syrian militants on its lands and transferring them to Libya, despite the return of 3,200 to Syria.

The observatory revealed that there are around 300 Syrian mercenaries aged between 14 and 18 in Libya, and around 432 Syrian militants were killed in confrontations with the LNA, including 30 minors and leaders.

SOHR also reported that 400 Syrian mercenaries left Libya, and illegally entered European countries through Italy.

The Libyan National Army (LNA) restored Sirte from militias in January 2020, and entered the outskirts of Tripoli and Misrata before retreating from Al-Watiyah that has an airbase, and Tarhouna town which was its last stronghold western the country.

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