By John Lee.
The international community has condemned this weekend's attacks on Libyan oil terminals, and called on all parties to undertake an immediate ceasefire and to refrain from any further hostilities.
Calling on all forces to avoid any action that could damage Libya's energy infrastructure or further disrupt its exports, the Governments of France, Germany, Italy, Spain, the United Kingdom, and the United States said in a joint statement:
"Libya's oil belongs to the Libyan people. The Presidency Council (PC) is the sole steward of these resources. The PC and other Government of National Accord (GNA) institutions have an obligation to ensure oil revenues are used to provide essential services for the Libyan people. Oil infrastructure, production, and export must remain under the exclusive control of the National Oil Corporation (NOC) acting under the GNA’s authority. We call for all military forces that have moved into the oil crescent to withdraw immediately, without preconditions.
"The Governments of France, Germany, Italy, Spain, the United Kingdom, and the United States reaffirm their full support for the GNA as Libya's sole executive authority. Libyan forces should unite in fighting Da’esh and other UN-designated terrorist groups. Violence against fellow Libyans undermines Libya’s stability and encourages division.
"Political agreements, not conflicts, must determine Libya’s future. Creating a unified, capable national security force under GNA authority is Libya's best hope for protecting its resources for the benefit of all its people. We urge peaceful cooperation among Libya's armed forces and immediate efforts to unify into one professional military force. All Libyan forces have a responsibility to serve the entire nation, and to act on behalf of all Libyans. We welcome efforts by partners to encourage all forces to avoid further clashes.
"We reiterate our intent to enforce UNSCR 2259, including measures concerning illicit oil exports, activities which could damage the integrity and unity of Libyan State financial institutions and the NOC, and individuals and entities engaging in or providing support for acts that threaten the unity, peace, stability or security of Libya."
The European Union (EU) said the attacks endanger Libya's energy infrastructure at a time when Libya and its legitimate government need more than ever to be able to fully exploit Libya's oil fields for the benefit of its people.
"The EU calls on all parties to immediately cease hostilities and to refrain from any action that could further damage Libya's energy infrastructures, which must remain under the sole control of the internationally recognised Government of National Accord (GNA), as the sole legitimate government in Libya. The EU urges existing militias and armed groups to respect the authority of the GNA.
"The EU will continue to work to ensure the enforcement of UNSCR 2259, which includes measures concerning illicit oil exports, activities which could damage the integrity and unity of Libyan State financial institutions and the National Oil Company, and individuals and entities engaging in or providing support for acts that threaten the peace, stability or security of Libya."
Martin Kobler, Special Representative of the United Nations Secretary-General and the head of the UN Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL), called on military forces that moved into the area to immediately stop fighting and refrain from any further military escalation.
“I call for the respect of UN Security Council Resolution 2259 which recognises the Government of National Accord consisting of the Presidency Council (PC) and the cabinet as the sole executive authority in Libya. Military forces protecting oil installations must be under the authority of the PC. UNSCR 2259 also contains a clear prohibition on illicit oil exports.
"Attacks on the oil terminals further threaten the stability and lead to a greater division of the country. They further restrict the oil exports and add to people's suffering."
(Sources: US State Dept, UN, EU)