Country Report Libya
- ID: 2101513
- April 2016
- Region: Libya
- 25 Pages
- The Economist Intelligence Unit
On April 21st, the unofficial government of Abdullah al-Thinni in eastern Libya attempted to sell crude to a UAE-based company, bypassing trade restrictions imposed on it by the official, UN-backed Government of National Accord (GNA) that sits in Tripoli. Although the GNA successfully foiled the attempted sale within days, the recent developments are a confirmation that the Tripoli government is still a long way from securing recognition from the rival Thinni administration.
The attempted sale by the Thinni administration took place just three weeks after the GNA made its sudden arrival in Tripoli in end-March-from its exile in Tunisia. The eastern-based administration had instructed its unilaterally-established branch of the National Oil Corporation (NOC; headquartered officially in Tripoli) to sell 650,000 barrels of crude to a UAE-registered company, and an Indian tanker, Distya Ameya, left Marsa el-Hariga port with the crude on April 25th. Marsa el-Hariga is located near Tobruq in the east, the city where the House of Representatives (HoR) meets.
This apparent bid for autonomy prompted the Tripoli-based NOC, which recognises the GNA as the only legitimate government in Libya, to seek to block the crude loading by Distya Ameya. In an indication that Western governments stand ready to provide firm political backing for the Tripoli authorities, the official NOC successfully foiled Mr Thinni's attempted sale of crude after persuading the UN Security Council to blacklist the Indian tanker on April 27th.