By Moutaz Ali.
Tripoli, 3 March 2017:
The Presidency Council (PC) has denied any involvement with today’s attacks against the central region oil terminals by the Benghazi Defense Brigades (BDB)
The PC insisted it had not instructed any force to move towards the oil crescent area.
“We announce that we don’t have any kind of relationship with the armed escalation that happened today in the oil crescent area,” a PC statment stated.
It condemned the attacks and said such actions only sought to destabilise reconciliation efforts.
“The PC reaffirms that oil is the only income for all Libyans and must stay aside from any kind of struggle”.
It warned it would not refrain from involving itself if the current situation continued.
UN envoy Martin Kobler also said such actions constituted “a serious threat to the livelihoods of ordinary Libyans” and called on “all parties to refrain from further escalation and ensure the protection of civilians and Libya’s oil facilities”.
Meanwhile in a statement to the Libya Herald, the PC’s defence ministry called for an immediate ceasefire. It also alleged mercenaries from Chad and Sudan were operating in the oil crescent region.
This evening, defence minister Mahdi Al-Bargathi said the ministry would send an independent force to stop the fighting
However, he has reportedly had strong links with the BDB in the past. In December 2016, the BDB attempted a similar attack but failed. At the time, the defence ministry supported the attackers.