Over the course of the week, tensions between Western and Eastern Libyan political factions continued to deepen on the matter of amendments to the Libyan Political Agreement (LPA) following the presentation of a revised version by UN Special Envoy to Libya, Ghassan Salame. The week was also marked by calls issued by Government of National Accord (GNA) affiliated PM to unify the two central banks of Libya, in an attempt to tackle the ongoing economic crisis.
On Nov 21, during a session on Tobruk, the House of Representatives (HoR) voted to endorse a plan presented by the UN Envoy to Libya to solve the current Libyan political crisis. Ghassan Salame’s revised LPA calls for the Presidency Council (PC) to be headquartered in Tripoli and gives power to the HoR to appoint the three members constituting the PC. The HoR's approval of the plan represented a significant advance in the negotiations, since the HoR previously halted talks in Tunis when contentious articles of the LPA were discussed.
However, the High Council of State (HCS), which initially expressed concerns two weeks ago regarding the proposal arguing that it gives too much power to the HoR, rejected the plan presented by the UN during a meeting on Nov 22. According to HCS members, the HCS and HoR must reach a consensus on the amendments to the LPA in order for the LPA to be valid. However, the LPA revision proposed by the UN Special Envoy does not constitute a consensus. Thus far, it remains unclear what the next steps will be.
Meanwhile on economic matters, GNA\ affiliated PM Fayez Sarraj demanded the organization of a meeting next week between officials representing the Tripoli\based Central Bank of Libya (CBL) and its Eastern Libyan counterpart to discuss the unification of the two institutions. PM Sarraj wants the two entities to work together to end the economic crisis currently plaguing the country. However, the persistence of political tensions between Eastern and Western factions will likely continue to hinder the unification of the two banking institutions. Regardless, the Tripoli\ based CBL remains the only institution recognized by the international community.
Lastly, on Nov 23, the head of Waha Oil Company Ahmed Anmar reported that the company was currently producing 260,000 barrels per day (bpd). Waha Oil company’s current oil output reveals an increase of more than 100,000 bpd compared to the company’s production in 2016. While the company seeks to increase its production to 375,000 bpd, the lack of infrastructure and funding hinders further progress, according to Anmar. Internal security issues and instability continue to pose a threat to the full realization of Libya’s oil production capacities.