Panafrican News Agency

Preparations for Libya's political forum in Geneva highlighted in the news

Tripoli, Libya (PANA) - The Libyan Political Forum scheduled for early October in Geneva, Switzerland, under the auspices of the United Nations, to form a national unity government in Libya was widely covered by Libyan newspapers this week.

The media also highlighted the resumption of meetings in Bouznika, Morocco, which could lead to a formal agreement on various issues on the way to the resolution of the Libyan crisis.

Al-Wassat newspaper reported that the attention of the international community is turned to preparations for the resumption of the dialogue process in Geneva and the arrangement to form a government of national unity. 

At the same time the Libyan National Oil Company (NOC) has started a partial resumption of oil production and export after "deals" concluded in Russia to resume work in oilfields and ports, provoking widespread backlash in the country in return for silence outside.

The newspaper said that the agreement has, on the other hand, raised questions about the relationship between this measure and the international and UN efforts that are preparing the Geneva dialogue for next October.

It should be noted, according to the Al-Wassat newspaper, that the agreement reached between the vice-president of the Presidential Council, Ahmed Maitig, and the commander of the Libyan National Army led by Khalifa Haftar, focused on sharing oil revenues without clear and transparent mechanisms, which critics say could prolong the duration of divisions between the parties to the Libyan crisis.

Under the arrangement, comprising seven points, the most important is the resumption of oil production and export, and the formation of a joint technical committee to oversee the distribution of oil revenues, at the rate of 60% for the Government of National Accord and 40% for the LNA.

The newspaper said that this distribution contradicts what had been previously proposed by the president of the Parliament, Aguila Salah, stipulating 50% for Tripoli, 30% for Cyrenaica and 20% for Fezzan.

The newspaper said, moreover, that the Haftar-Maitig agreement did not take into account the question of the withdrawal of mercenaries from certain oil fields and ports, which prompted the NOC at the start not to lift the state of force majeure of these oil installations unless they are evacuated from military presence.

However, according to Al-Wassat, the Company, perhaps under international pressure, has renounced this, replacing its condition by announcing the lifting of the force majeure at ports and oilfields deemed "safe" according to its classification.

The newspaper added that perhaps reinforcing the NOC's concerns about the presence of foreign military is the information that leaked on the death of four Russian Wagner mercenaries in the crash of a helicopter carrying ammunition in Al-Joufra, according to the spokesperson for the "Sirte Al-Joufra Liberation Operations Room", under the GNA, Abdelhadi Dara.

Preliminary information indicated that the helicopter was heading towards an oilfield, the newspaper recalled.

The Chairman of the Presidential Council of the GNA Fayez Al-Sarraj has so far not confirmed that he is not part of the deal, the newspaper reported.

It added that some have interpreted this as evidence of a split within the Council, while the President of the High Council of State, Khaled Al-Mechri called for an urgent investigation into the context of the agreement, which he described as "an attack on the powers of the legitimate legislative authorities".

Afrigatenews reported that the date announced for the resumption of the dialogue in Morocco is Sunday but the arrival of the members of the two delegations in Morocco has not been announced.

The Al-Wassat newspaper was also interested in the initiative of the Representative of Libya to the United Nations, Ambassador Taher Al-Sunni, presented to the United Nations Secretary-General, Antonio Guterres, aimed at supporting the current channels of Libyan dialogue and to ensure the participation of different groups in Libyan society.

The proposal is to launch, according to the newspaper, a path for national reconciliation and transitional justice, in coordination with the African Union, which includes civil society, cultural and social components and elites, and another path for municipalities which will discuss ways to activate decentralised administration and improve public services in the country.

-0- PANA BY/IS/KND/MA 26Sept2020