By John Lee.
The Libyan National Army (LNA), under the command of Khalifa Haftar, has reportedly handed control of the oil ports of Es Sider and Ras Lanuf to an eastern-based National Oil Corporation (NOC).
Last week, the LNA captured the terminals from rival fighters led by Ibrahim Jadhran.
On Monday, the internationally recognized NOC in Tripoli dismissed the transfer of control as illegal, saying:
"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, National Oil Corporation said today.
“There is only one legitimate NOC, recognised by the international community and OPEC,” said Eng. Mustafa Sanalla, National Oil Corporation (NOC) Chairman. “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 Government of National Accord. 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 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."
"NOC Chairman Sanalla added: “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 ports over to the operational control of the legitimate and internationally recognised NOC, the LNA has decided to put itself above the law. The LNA is behaving like the criminal Ibrahim Jadhran 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.”
"NOC warns companies against entering into contracts to buy oil from parallel institutions. They will not be honoured and NOC will pursue legal action against them by all options available."
(Sources: NOC-Tripoli, Reuters)