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Libyan National Army sets conditions for lifting oil blockade

The Libyan Address Journal

In a statement late Saturday, Ahmed al-Mesmari, a spokesman for the LNA, called for oil revenues to flow into a bank account in a foreign country with a ‘clear mechanism’ to distribute funds fairly among Libya’s regions.

The National Libyan Army (LNA) led by Field Marshal Khalifa Hafter said they will only allow the reopening of oil fields and terminals once a mechanism has been set up to fairly distribute revenue across the country.

Local tribes in Cyrenaica closed export terminals and choked off major pipelines at the start of the year. The move was aimed at putting pressure on the Muslim-brotherhood backed government in Tripoli, headed by Fayez al-Sarraj.

In a statement late Saturday, Ahmed al-Mesmari, a spokesman for the LNA, called for oil revenues to flow into a bank account in a foreign country with a “clear mechanism” to distribute funds fairly among Libya’s regions. He did not name a country to host the account.

He also demanded international guarantees that oil revenues would not be used to fund “terrorists and mercenaries.” He was apparently referring to the mercenaries, mostly Syrians, that Turkey brought in recent months to fight on the side of the Tripoli government, which is backed by an array of Islamist militias as well as Turkey, Qatar and Italy.

Al-Mesmari also called for an audit to Libya’s central bank in Tripoli to review the spending in the past years.

Last month, the tribes offered to end the closure as part of a political settlement. They mandated LNA to negotiate the opening of the oil facilities.

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