Report: Haftar considers new oil blockade

Khalifa Haftar

French, Africa Intelligence, has reported that Khalifa Haftar is threatening to block oilfields in territories controlled by his forces in order to regain his footing in the struggle for power, saying this is coming from Egyptian pressure.

“There have been several pointers over the past few days: the flare-up of unrest in Fezzan, near where the Sharara and El Feel fields are located, and Haftar’s announcement, during his showy military parade in Sebha on 17 October, of a potential offensive against Tripoli. These threats come from a man in a difficult position.” The website said.

It added that Haftar’s ally Egypt has been pressuring him to take action against an oil deal struck between Tripoli and Turkey, saying that Haftar was caught out when the Prime Minister of the Government of National Unity took control of the country’s oil sector by reorganizing Libya’s Supreme Council for Energy.

“As head of the energy council, GNU Prime Minister Abdul Hamid Dbeibah has the upper hand on all oil matters. More importantly, it gives him a means to weaken the position of his oil minister, Mohamed Aoun, and the NOC chairman.” The report adds.

It indicated that the UAE scaled back its financial aid for Haftar, and had also been backing Dbeibah, a loss that Egypt’s support cannot make up.

“A new blockade on the oil fields could seriously jeopardise Haftar’s finances, and therefore his ability to run his forces, as well as certain tribal alliances.” The website explained.

The Libyan National Oil Company (NOC) has suffered losses of over $3.5 billion because of the forced closure of major oil sites since mid-April.

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