Misrata Military Council warns NOC over links to LNA

By Libya Herald reporter.

Tunis, 7 January 2016:

Misrata Military Council (MMC) has called on the National Oil Corporation (NOC) to reconsider its relationship with the Libyan National Army and Field Marshal Khalifa Hafter. It says that the eastern oil ports could be used as a military base for Haftar’s forces.

If NOC did not do so, the council warned at a meeting yesterday, it would be regarded as a collaborator with Haftar.

The MMC yesterday also demanded that the Government of National Accord (GNA) led by Faiez Serraj take a position on events in Benghazi, where the LNA is crushing the last vestiges of the militant Benghazi Revolutionaries Shoura Council (BRSC) and its Islamic State allies in Ganfouda and Sabri. It also wants the GNA to make a statement about Hafter, whom it continues to describe as a “war criminal”.

The MMC, is which more hardline than its civilian counterpart, Misrata Municipal Council, has close links with the BRSC and its military wing operating outside Benghazi, the Benghazi Defence Brigades (BDB).

The statement is a reaction to the two attacks by the LNA on Jufra airbase where a significant number of BFB fighters as well as Misratan troops have been based. On 26 December a number were killed when an LNA aircraft bombed the base. In a second attack last Tuesday, a group of Misratan officials who has flown in to the airbase, reportedly to pay their condolences for those killed in the first raid, were targeted. Among those injured was the MMC’s spokesperson, Ibrahim Beitelmal.

Last September, following the LNA’s capture of the oil terminals at Ras Lanuf, Sidra and Zueitina from Ibrahim Jadhran’s forces, they were handed back to NOC chairman Musta Sanalla at a meeting between him and the LNA in Zueitina. Force majeure was then lifted at the three terminals and exports recommenced.

The details of what was agreed between Sanalla and the LNA have never been disclosed.

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