A tribal group loyal to Khalifa Haftar in eastern Libya, called elders and dignitaries of Oil Crescent Region, announced Wednesday continuation of shutting down oil ports and fields as well as exports’ blockade despite the announcement of resumption output and reopening ports and fields that came on Tuesday, which was reiterated by the Prime Minister-designate Fathi Bashagha.
The tribesmen said the oil facilities wouldn't be reopened until their demands were approved, including the stepping down of current PM, Abdul Hamid Dbeibah, and appointment of a Bashagha and his government.
Bashagha said the “Oil Crescent Bloc” reopened oil fields and ports on Tuesday after efforts of his government and the House of Representatives (HoR), posting on Twitter footage for the Bloc’s statement that reaffirmed the resumption of oil operations after instructions “from HoR Speaker Aqila Saleh.”
However, the National Oil Corporation (NOC) said production and exportation operations were still on halt as foreign companies and oil tankers awaited NOC’s announcement for the resumption and lifting of force majeure to restart operations as usual.
The “Oil Crescent Bloc” announced late on Tuesday evening the reopening of oil fields and ports. In a video statement, the Bloc said: “As per the instructions of the Speaker of Parliament, Aqila Saleh, regarding opening the oil fields and ports, it decided to open the oil fields and ports immediately.”
Observers believe that the continued closure of oil ports and fields by Haftar-loyal tribesmen in eastern Libya despite the announcement of reopening by Bashagha comes as a reminder by Haftar to Bashagha that he is the one who calls the shots in the east.