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Libya's Eastern-based Government Renews Boycott of GNA

Libya's Eastern-based Government Renews Boycott of GNA

Saturday, 16 February, 2019 - 09:15
An image grab taken from a video from AFPTV, on February 6, 2019, shows Forces loyal to LNA chief Khalifa Haftar patrolling in downtown Sebha, the biggest city in southern Libya. AFPTV / AFP
Cairo - Khalid Mahmoud
The government of Abdullah al-Thinni, which operates from eastern Libya, has reiterated its boycott of the internationally recognized Government of National Accord that is based in the Libyan capital Tripoli.

Thinni has ordered all institutions falling under his control not to have any contact with members of Fayez al-Sarraj’s GNA.

“Any cooperation with GNA’s Presidential Council is a clear violation of the Constitution,” he said.

His statement, which was published on the eastern government’s website and social media pages, came as Sarraj kicked off a visit to Germany to participate in the Munich security conference.

Meanwhile, the United States has expressed concern at ongoing tensions in southern Libya, “which have prolonged the closure of critical oil infrastructure and deprived all Libyans of vital economic resources.”

“We call on all parties to urgently establish a mutually acceptable security arrangement that will guarantee the safety of National Oil Corporation (NOC) workers and allow oil production at the al-Sharara oil field to resume as quickly as possible for the benefit of all Libyans,” the State Department said in a statement on Thursday.

“Libya’s oil facilities, production, and revenues belong to the Libyan people. We reiterate that the NOC must be allowed to resume its work unhindered and that these vital Libyan resources must remain under the exclusive control of the NOC and the sole oversight of the Government of National Accord.”

Washington reaffirmed its “unwavering commitment” to stand with all Libyans in their shared fight against terrorism.

“We welcome ongoing efforts to ensure that ISIS-Libya and al-Qaeda are denied safe haven in southern Libya. We remain committed to using all available tools to sustain pressure against terrorist groups, at the request of and in coordination with the Government of National Accord,” it added.

On Friday, a human rights activist said that fourteen Tunisian workers were kidnapped as they traveled to work at an oil refinery in western Libya.

They were abducted by members of a Libyan tribe demanding the release of a relative who is imprisoned in Tunisia on drug charges, Mustafa Abdel Kebir, president of the Tunisian Observatory for Human Rights, said.

The group was seized in the small town of Zawiya, west of the capital Tripoli, he added. He did not say when the kidnapping took place.

The abduction was confirmed by the Tunisian foreign ministry on Saturday.

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