By Sami Zaptia.
London, 18 December 2020:
UNSMIL today condemned the latest intimidation of Libya’s state National Oil Corporation by state-recognized militias.
The condemnation came after on Wednesday (16 December) the NOC strongly condemned militia intervention in its Brega Company, suspected use of booby-trapped vehicles to intimidate it, and suspicious deals to sell its vehicle oils. It did not name the militia but said it was the same militia that was involved in the 23 November failed attack on the NOC’s headquarters.
The NOC warned that it will take legal action against militia members involved in this blackmailing and that it has submitted written reports against the militia and its individual members with the Tripoli Libyan government, its Ministry of Interior and the Office of Attorney General.
In its condemnation statement, UNSMIL said the NOC is and must remain a unified, independent, and apolitical institution that works for the benefit of all Libyans. These actions may constitute a violation of UN Security Council Resolutions and those responsible could be subject to sanctions.
Libya’s oil production has already suffered serious setbacks in 2020 due to the protracted oil blockade, which was lifted only three months ago, and which resulted in the irretrievable loss of $11 billion in sales. Nationwide, the NOC was able to quickly, and despite the exceptionally difficult circumstances, bring Libya’s oil production fully back online.
The NOC must be supported, not undermined, concluded UNSMIL.