Armed men attack Libya deputy prime minister's residence

Armed men attack Libya deputy prime minister's residence
2 min read
27 June, 2018
A group of unidentified armed men have attacked a deputy prime minister of Libya, after her expressed support for the eastern authority's claim to the country's oil fields.
Haftar's forces control much of eastern Libya [AFP]
Armed men in Libya's capital have attacked the residence of a deputy prime minister, after he expressed sympathy for the rival eastern authority's claims to the country's oil.

Fathi al-Majbari's is part of the internationally-recognised Government of National Accord (GNA), but viewed by some as a bridge between the Tripoli-based government and an authority in the east.

His home in Tripoli was attacked on Tuesday night, sparking fears that the politician had been abducted.

Libya's ministry of justice said that Majbari was unharmed and in a "safe place", according to Reuters on Wednesday.

The attack took place hours after the deputy premier issued a statement voicing his support for renegade militia leader, Khalifa Haftar's  seizure of Libya's oil fields.

Two ports key to the export of Libyan oil were captured by militias thought to be sympathetic to the GNA, earlier this month.

Haftar's Libyan National Army (LNA) led a successful campaign to re-capture Ran Lanuf and Es Sider, but the fighting has caused both ports to close and ended exports of most of Libya's oil.

Haftar had allowed the Tripoli-based National Oil Corporation (NOC) to operate the two oil ports - rather than a rival oil company in the east, using the same name.

The recent attack on the ports by militias sympathetic to Tripoli led Haftar to threaten to send revenues from oil under his control to the eastern-based NOC.

The rival eastern authority - which fled to Tobruk following disagreements with the other sections of the government in Tripoli - has long complained it does not receive its fair share of revenuesk, generated by oil, from the Tripoli-based central bank.

Majbari said he supported Haftar's announcement that he would send oil funds east "due to systematic isolation and marginalisation, and unfair distribution of the resources of production". 

Libyan revolutionaries overthrew dictator Muammar Gaddafi in 2011.

Libya has since been largely divided, with a host of militias - loosely aligned to the two authorities - fighting for control of the country, and also against more extreme elements linked to al-Qaeda and the Islamic State group.

Haftar's militias control most of eastern Libya and have been allied to the eastern authority.