By Sami Zaptia.
London, 26 June 2018:
The Tripoli-based Libyan National Oil Corporation (NOC), the only internationally recognized Libyan NOC, led by Mustafa Sanalla, has condemned the decision by the Khalifa Hafter-led Libyan National Army (LNA) to handover the recently recaptured oil ports to the eastern-based NOC.
In a statement released yesterday, the Tripoli NOC said that it ‘‘rejects the legal authority of the LNA to determine the control of the Gulf of Sirte (oil crescent) ports’’.
It added that ‘‘the Libyan National Army has no legal authority to determine control of oil exports from Libya, and any attempt to do so would transgress United Nations Security Council (UNSC) resolutions and domestic Libyan law and penal code’’.
“There is only one legitimate NOC, recognised by the international community and OPEC,” the statement said, quoting its chairman Mustafa Sanalla. “Exports by parallel institutions are illegal and will fail as they have failed in the past. UNSC resolutions are very clear; oil facilities, production, and exports must remain under the exclusive control of NOC and the sole oversight of the (Presidency Council and its designated) Government of National Accord (GNA). We are confident that the GNA and our international partners will take the necessary steps to stop all exports in breach of international law.”
‘‘The international community’’, the statement continued, ‘‘has been resolute in its support for NOC and very clear outlining who is legally responsible for the stewardship of national resources. UNSC resolution 2362 could not be clearer in condemning “attempts to illicitly export petroleum, including crude oil and refined petroleum products, from Libya, including by parallel institutions which are not acting under the authority of the Government of National Accord.”
The Tripoli NOC Chairman Sanalla added that “the LNA leadership has missed an excellent opportunity to act in the national interest. Libyans want a country of laws, not of guns. Instead of defending the rule of law in Libya by handing the Gulf of Sirte (Oil Crescent) ports over to the operational control of the legitimate and internationally recognised NOC, the LNA has decided to put itself above the law’’.
The Tripoli NOC statement then went on to compare the LNA to the militia leader Ibrahim Jadran. ‘‘The LNA is behaving like the criminal Ibrahim Jadran and should be condemned by the international community and Libyan people. The LNA has turned its back on the Paris Accords and on the path to peace. We hope the country will survive.”
The Tripoli NOC concluded by warning international companies against entering into contracts to buy Libyan oil from the eastern ‘‘parallel institutions’’, adding that any such contracts ‘‘will not be honoured’’ and that the Tripoli NOC would ‘‘pursue legal action against them by all options available’’.