The situation in the Oil crescent stay conflictual. A senior official at Libya’s National Oil Corporation (NOC) warned on Monday of a possible declaration of force majeure at the Es Sider and RasLanuf oil terminals, as air strikes continued and rival forces mobilised fighters in the area. Due to air strikes committed by LNA (Libyan National Army) a large part of workers have left the industry. The effective control of the exploitation isn’t so clear. Oil is no longer being pumped to Es Sider, forcing Waha Oil Co to halt production and also affecting output by Harouge Oil Operations. In one hand the GNA (Government of National Accord) at Tripoli asks for a stabilization under the NOC, in an other hang General Haftar (LNA) has deployed in emergency 600 men to support the Petroleum Facilities Guard in the Oil Crescent. So, the situation is still not stabilize and the production decrease could have an important impact on Libyan’s economy, and maybe a global rise of oil’s price, so consequences at the international level.
The Head of the High Council of State (HCS) Abdelrahamn Al-Sweihli, has arrived in Qatar today on a formal visit aiming at receiving more support for the UN-brokered Government of National Accord (GNA). This diplomatic operation is looking to create international sustains to the GNA after recent troubles due to Oil crescent crisis, and the “crisis” inside Libya. Indeed, after his sustain for BDB (BengazhiDefence Brigade), GNA has lost the the faith from large part of East Libya’s population, which has reached LNA (Libyan National Army) supports and the HoR (House of Representatives). So by this way, GNA is trying to recuperate an international support to maintain his partial power on the country.
Several influences composed the current Libyan context. The war against Daesh and the possible international military operation on the ground, under Italy leadership as attested by the US Secretary of State John Kerry and the US Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Joseph Dunford, are two geopolitical variables that could intersect in the near future.
“We have no links with Mr Serraj and the Presidential Council which he leads is not recognised by the parliament (in the east),” Haftar told i-Tele news channel in an interview in Libya. “Daesh does not have the capacity to face the Libyan armed forces, but the battle could take time. ” It’s what Geneal Khalifa Haftar said in an interview on May 20 and confirmed in following ones. So, Serraj’s visit in Egypt, the main Haftar’s sponsor, on May 26 could be determining to a possible coalition between GNA and Tobruk, which are fighting ISIS nearby Sirte.
So, the Libyan context is not going anywhere. Tobruk parliament has not already voted for GNA. On the other hand, on May 17 asked International Community for help Libya by engaging with the legitimate institutions in accordance with the political agreement. While, on May 8, he said that “”It doesn’t make sense that the international community supports our war against terrorism, and forbids us from arming ourselves.”
“We are ready to respond to the Libyan government’s requests for training and equipping the presidential guard and vetted forces from throughout Libya. The government of national accord has voiced its intention to submit appropriate arms embargo exemption requests to the UN Libya sanctions committee to procure necessary lethal arms and materiel to counter UN-designated terrorist groups and to combat Daesh throughout the country. We will fully support these efforts while continuing to reinforce the UN arms embargo,” UK Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond.
Just as Italian Foreign Minister Paolo Gentiloni, who supposed a military support only after “we will try to reinforce the political accord, to fight against ISIS, including General Haftar, but the full recognition is needed”. While, during the meeting in Rome with GNA Foreign Minister Mohamed Siala, discussed about migration control and “the possibility of reactivating the tools set out in the 2008 friendship pact as soon as possible,” Italian government said in a statement.
GNA and Misrata militias from the South and the West; Haftar’s troops from the East. The siege of Sirte, ISIS stronghold in Libya, is underway. A military context which is causing two consequences. The first one, Western countries special forces, already on the ground since at least two months, are supervising by both and monitoring Libyan progress and Haftar’s reliability if GNA will fail. The second one, the first ISIS internal divisions caused as reported by Libyan online magazine al Wasat.
So, the next few weeks will be crucial for Libyan destiny. The pressure of United States, United Kingdom and France on Italy for an immediate military operation on the ground will particularly depend from result of war of GNA and Tobruk troops against Islamic State: therefore, General Khalifa Haftar is not still out of running.