The UN secretary general’s special adviser on Libya, Stephanie Williams, on Monday expressed concerns over the shutdown at two Libyan oilfields by gangs, saying the closure deprives the country of major earnings.
Williams in a Twitter post said, “I am following with concern, reports of closure of oilfields and suspension of some civilian flights.
“Blocking oil production deprives all Libyans from their major source of revenue. The oil blockade should be lifted.”
Libya’s National Oil Corporation (NOC) reported on Sunday that gangs had shut down Sharara and al-Feel fields, in southwestern Libya, forcing production to drop by 330,000 barrels per day.
NoC said this results in daily losses of more than 160 million Libyan dinars ($34.6 million).
The North African nation is primarily dependent on oil for its income, but its crude oil production has been halted repeatedly because of violence between various warlords that continues for decades.
The country had been in turmoil since long-time ruler Muammar Gaddafi was toppled in 2011.
Fears of another split in the country were renewed earlier today after the parliament swore in a new government and interim Prime Minister Abdul-Hamid Dbeibeh vowed to remain in power until a new administration was elected.
Fathi Bashagha, the newly elected premier, claimed that Dbeibeh suspended domestic flights so that new ministers would be unable to attend this week’s oath-taking ceremony at the parliament’s headquarters in Tobruk.
In December, the presidential elections meant to re-establish stability in the oil-rich country failed to take place due to disagreements over the rules.
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