Khalifa Hafter says he is ready to lift oil blockade in Libya

Khalifa Hafter, who rules the eastern half of Libya and who was behind a year-long military attempt to capture the capital, Tripoli, has said that he is ready to temporarily lift his blockade of the country’s oil production facilities. 

Khalifa Hafter, promised in a televised address that oil would start pumping again for the first time since January “with conditions that ensure a fair distribution of revenue.” 

His spokesman, Ahmed al-Mosmari, said the breakthrough stems from a “Libyan-Libyan dialogue” led by Ahmed Matiq, the rival Tripoli government’s deputy prime minister, seeking to resolve the oil paralysis and create a new mechanism to distribute the country’s petrodollars more equitably. 

“We are ready to open oil fields to secure the future of Libya for a period of one month,” he said. 

The internationally-backed Government of National Accord (GNA) and Haftar’s self-described Libyan National Army (LNA) militias are the two major warring factions in Libya. Based in the capital city of Tripoli, the GNA is led by Prime Minister Fayez al-Sarraj and controls parts of the country’s west. the Benghazi-based Libya National Army (LNA), a force of some twenty-five thousand fighters, is led by Khalifa Haftar. Hafter, backed by Russia, Egypt and the United Arab Emirates, controls the east and south, including the country’s major oil fields and terminals. 

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