News Alerts

06 Jul 2020 | 10:56 PM UTC

Libya: Foreign fighters enter Sidra oil port July 5

Libya News Alert

Foreign fighters reported to have entered the oil port of Sidra (Sirte district) on July 5; heightened security presence expected in the area over the near term

TIMEFRAME expected from 7/6/2020, 12:00 AM until 7/9/2020, 11:59 PM (Africa/Tripoli). COUNTRY/REGION As-Sider

Event

On Sunday, July 5, the head of the National Oil Corporation (NOC), Mustafa Sanallah, reported that foreign forces had entered the Sidra oil port (Sirte district). The foreign fighters were reportedly working to militarize the site, but no details were given on the nationalities of the soldiers or their further intentions.

A heightened security presence is expected in the area over the near term and clashes between rival forces are possible.

Context

During the protracted conflict between Khalifa Haftar's eastern-based Libyan National Army (LNA) and the UN-recognized Government of National Accord (GNA), most of Libya's oilfields have been either under threat by or under the direct control of the LNA, which has severely restricted oil production.

Since the Russian-backed LNA's withdrawal from Tripoli in early June 2020, some oilfields have stepped up efforts to resume oil production. However, forces loyal to the LNA are suspected to be attempting to prevent the resumption. On June 25, fighters from the Russian private military contractor (PMC) Wagner entered the Sharara oil filed and as of July 5 were reportedly still present at the site.

Advice

The security environment in Libya remains complex. Although travel is possible in some areas (with appropriate security protocols in place), other areas should be considered strictly off-limits. Professional security advice and support should be sought prior to travel.

 

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