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Libyan Authorities Seek 37 Suspects for Attacks on Oil, Military Installations

TRIPOLI – Libyan authorities issued arrest warrants for 37 suspects over attacks on key oil ports in the east of the country and a military base in the south, Arab News reported Friday.
The source, who did not want to be named, confirmed the authenticity of the arrest warrants, which were dated January 2 and leaked on Facebook on Thursday.
The orders showed that 31 members of the Chadian and Sudanese opposition based in Libya, along with six Libyan citizens, are wanted for attacks against the “growing” oil in the east of the country and the Tamanhint military base, as well as for its participation in the fight between Libyan rivals.
Following the overthrow of veteran Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi in a NATO-backed uprising in 2011, fighters from neighboring Chad and Sudan joined the ensuing upheaval.
Libyan armed factions that compete frequently accuse each other of deploying mercenaries from sub-Saharan Africa.
The Libyan suspects include Abdul Hakim Belhadj, a rebel leader who helped overthrow Gaddafi in 2011 and is now an Islamist political leader.
Last year, Britain apologized to Belhadj and his wife for the role of British intelligence officers in their delivery in 2004 from Thailand to Libya.
Ibrahim Jadhran, who is accused of launching an attack last June against oil crescent, is also among those sought by Libyan authorities.
Jadhran’s forces controlled the oil moon for years until it was taken in 2016 by the Libyan National Army, which is loyal to Khalifa Haftar in eastern Libya.
The closing of the oil crescent, where key oil ports are located, has led to production losses of up to 450,000 barrels per day (bpd) of a total national production of just over one million bpd.
Last September, the UN Security Council added Jadhran to the list of individuals subject to an asset freeze and a travel ban.
The east-west division of Libya, in place since the disputed elections and an escalation of fighting in 2014, has divided key institutions and produced a deadlock between the rump parliaments and the changing military factions with which they are aligned.
(Sahar News Monitoring Desk)

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