Mustaffa Sanalla, chairman of Libya’s NOC – National Oil Corporation, is warning as loud as he can that Haftar’s blockade on Libya’s oil infrastructure will soon lead to disaster. Sanalla further warns that the world powers will be themselves complicit in Libya’s collapse – a collapse of rule of law – if they fail to act to pressure Haftar to allow the oil sector to get back online. However, he claimed, too many Western powers seem content to watch as countries that committed to uphold the embargo openly break their promises.
Sanallah said his country was facing “a disaster and a nightmare”, as the blockade of Libya’s oil ports and refineries continues. Production, which was at 1.3 million bpd is down to 260,000 bpd and could soon drop as low as 70,000. The cumulative losses so far amount to nearly $450 million. As Libya’s cash reserves deplete, both governments, the Tripoli-based GNA and Tobruk based House of Representatives will find it increasingly difficult to pay 1.3 million public sector salaries. At the same time, there could be long-term damage to the oil pipelines themselves, as crude oil left in pipes corrodes irreparably corrodes them.
Sanalla’s voice is increasingly important. As the conflict drags out and another effort to spark a political process is likely to falter, he is seen as one of the few “neutral voices” left in the country with a high standing domestically and internationally.
“The international community has to understand that if it tolerates or even rewards those who break the law in Libya, then it will be complicit in the end of the rule of law in our country. And that means more corruption, more crime, more injustice and more poverty.” Sanalla cautioned.
He further called out countries who were “happy when they secure agreement from wide range of countries … calling for ceasefires and political settlements. But they know that many of those countries will sign anything and then continue to supply weapons to the war fighters…(and who) poison…social media with their sophisticated disinformation campaigns, undermining the ..solutions they” officially support.
Sanalla called for “not just words but action from UN security council…pride themselves on their support for rule of law” “world superpowers have to give the facts to the Libyan people about responsibility for the shutdown of the oilfields”. Sanalla warned that if blockaders were rewarded “you will see it repeated, not just in Libya but potentially across the whole of the Middle East…people who feel they have a grievance decide its worth trying an oil blockade”.