By Libya Herald staff.
Tunis, 27 April 2016:
The UN Security Council’s Libya Sanctions Committee has blacklisted the Indian-registered oil tanker Distya Ameya . . .[restrict]which on Monday controversially uplifted 650,000 barrels of oil from Tobruk and then headed towards Malta.
It never arrived having been refused entry to Maltese territorial waters by the authorities there.
The oil was sold by the parallel National Oil Company under the control of the Beida-based interim government to UAE-based DSA Consultancy FZC but the sale is regarded by the UN as now illegal under the terms of Security Council resolutions 2259 and 2278.
Under No. 2259 of 23 December 2015, the UN approved both the Libyan Political Agreement signed in Skhirat and the Rome communiqué of 13 December 2015 which stated that all dealings with any Libyan organisation which remained linked to either the Thinni administration in Beida or that led by Khalifa Ghwell in Tripoli had to stop. In particular, it said that the Central Bank of Libya, the National Oil Corporation and the Libyan Investment Authority “must function under the stewardship of a Government of National Accord”.
Resolution No. 2278, which condemned any attempt to export crude oil from Libya, including those by parallel institutions not acting under the authority of the Government of National Accord, also stated that a tanker’s flag state – in this case India – had to take necessary measures to prevent the vessel “from loading, transporting or discharging” illicit crude oil from Libya. It also required member states to prevent vessels carrying such oil from entering their ports and “prevent their nationals, entities or individuals on their territory from engaging in any financial transactions with respect to such crude oil”.
In a statement today, UN Special Envoy Martin Kobler reminded all parties of Resolution No. 2278. In his statement, he also expressed his deep concern over recent attacks by the so-called Islamic State on Libyan oil fields., calling them a grave assault not only on the lifeline of Libya’s national economy, but on the very livelihoods of millions of ordinary Libyans.
It is not clear if the addition of Distya Ameya to the sanctions list also covers its owners. It means, however, that it cannot now legally sail to any port in the world.
The vessel, which is currently sitting east of Malta, “awaiting instructions” according to MarineTraffic.com, has had a series of previous names, including Kassos. [/restrict]