What is happening in Libya. The latest news on Russia, Turkey and beyond
It is not known if the War for Sirte, near which the opposing forces of the GNA of Tripoli and the LNA of General Khalifa Haftar with their allies are deployed, will start in the next few hours or if they will take advantage of this period of truce to advance the peace negotiations.
What is certain is that there is a great ferment in this period around the oil wells that arise in the surrounding areas and which are the object of opposite appetites.
For example, the visit last Thursday to the Shahara camp, the largest of all, by the Russian mercenaries of the Wagner Group, who stopped to speak with the security forces of the camp.
An unannounced passage with a clear intimidating flavor towards those who, namely the NOC , is currently called to manage the proceeds of those wells – which have been blocked since January by Haftar's will – and distribute them to the central banks of rival governments of Tripoli and Tobruk.
From the head of the NOC, Mustafah Sanalla, it was not by chance that a worried communiqué accused some parties involved in the conflict of "working in the background to support the forces they want" to continue the blockade of wells decided by Haftar during the offensive conducted against Tripoli .
Sanalla's suspicions around that passage must have turned into a nightmare yesterday when the Russian news agency Ria Novosti published an interview with the vice president of the Supreme Council of Sheikhs and notables of the Libyan tribes Sheikh Senussi al Haleeq – entity, he specifies Nova agency which relaunched the interview, which does not hide its sympathies for Haftar – which stated that the oil crescent wells and also those located in the southwestern region of Fezzan "are under our control", namely the joint control of tribes and LNA forces.
With this premise, al Haleeq then started its trip: the Council intends to open a bank account in Russia for "the fair distribution of profits from oil sales among all Libyans".
“We have invited the international community – al Haleeq's words – to open a new bank account, which will collect all the profits from the sale of Libyan oil. It is hoped that this account will be opened in Russia, so that all proceeds from the sale of oil will be distributed equally from there to the three regions of Libya2.
According to the vice president, the issue is currently being negotiated with the United Nations and the international community, noted the Libyan tribal exponent. "However," said the vice president, speaking to another Russian news organization such as "Sputnik", "we want the Russian Federation to play a more important role in this matter"
Troubles to come await therefore the NOC, also considering the aims of the opposing field. It seems anything but a coincidence in fact that on Sunday the Turkish Energy Minister Fatih Donmez declared that Ankara seriously intends to work in synergy with the NOC and with the main international oil companies to exploit those deposits.
Squeezed in the deadly grip between the two contenders, the NOC can do nothing else at this moment than to try to save the salvable by spreading reassuring press releases.
Yesterday, for example, he released a note in which he made it known that negotiations are underway under the supervision of the UN and the US and with the support of some unspecified "countries in the region" for the resumption of oil production.
In expressing the hope that "the regional countries behind the blockade" of crude oil exports could "allow us to resume operations in the interest of all Libyans", the Noc also assured that it was "determined" because a possible agreement – which it should include, he added, "solutions to protect oil installations, ensuring that they are never used as a military target or again as a political exchange commodity" – "ensure transparency and that oil revenues bring social justice and all Libyans" .
Against the background of this arm wrestling for the control of the wells and the related proceeds, however, the winds of war rise again.
Yesterday al Jazeera reported that thousands of mercenaries from Chad and Sudan are rushing to Sirte to help Haftar's troops intent on pushing back GNA rivals.
Also yesterday, also on the Monitor he published a long article which focused on what is considered the increasingly likely joint offensive of the forces of Tripoli and Ankara against Sirte and al-Jufra, underlining how in Ankara they are more than determined to infuriate the cannons (and drones) to give the last lesson to Haftar.
In the midst of this fog of war are the immense oil resources of Libya and an institution, the NOC, which does not know what fish to take until the waters have stopped.
This is a machine translation from Italian language of a post published on Start Magazine at the URL https://www.startmag.it/energia/tutti-gli-schizzi-finanziari-fra-russia-e-turchia-in-libia-su-petrolio-e-noc/ on Tue, 30 Jun 2020 06:58:20 +0000.