On 16 January, some Libyan tribal leaders and public figures called to shut down oil terminals in protest against what they describe as the UN-backed Government of National Accord’s (GNA) payments for foreign military support using oil revenues.
The Libyan National Oil Corporation (NOC) has declared a state of emergency after oil supplies from several ports were suspended.
“NOC declares force majeure after LNA blockades oil exports from Brega, Ras Lanuf, Hariga, Zueitina and Sidra ports. This will result in a loss of crude oil production of 800,000 b/d and daily financial losses of approximately $55 million per day”, the NOC announced in a post on Facebook.
The statement comes after the company said earlier in the day that the possible shutdown of oil terminals would have far-reaching negative consequences for the nation’s economy.
Libyan media reported on 17 January that protesters had entered the oil port of Zueitina in the eastern part of the country, but the terminal had not been closed.
Prior to this, Turkish special forces reportedly started arriving in Tripoli to “ensure the safety of officials of the Government of National Accord (GNA)” following Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan expressed commitment to support the GNA by sending troops to Libya.
Libya has been mired in a severe political crisis since a coup in 2011 that toppled leader Muammar Gaddafi. Two rival administrations have since then…