Political developments continue to unfold in Libya highlighting deepened fragmentation between political rivals and local dissatisfaction with the current status quo across the country. This week important political developments occurred in the Western and Eastern power blocs.
In a televised statement from the city of Benghazi, Fathi Al-Majbari, a member of the Presidential Council (PC), announced his resignation from the Sarraj-led PC of the Government of National Accord (GNA), whilst calling on ministers representing Libya’s Eastern region to resign from their positions and depart Tripoli. Al-Majbari stated that PC officials are in constant danger due to the presence of militias that control the city and impose decisions with the use of force. Al-Majbari also noted the weakness of the Presidential Guard (PG) in the face of a cartel of militias dictating the security situation across the capital city. AlMajbari’s resignation comes three weeks’ after his Tripoli residence was reportedly attacked by an an “armed group of 50 men”, injuring a number of guards, and forcing Al-Majbari to flee to Tunis and then to Benghazi in what he referred to as an attempt to “kidnap, hurt or kill” the PC member. The attack followed Al-Majbari’s statement on the backing of Haftar’s decision to hand over control of the Oil Crescent to the Eastern-based National Oil Corporation (NOC) under the Interim Government on 25 Jun 2018.
Moreover, among the many statements made by Al-Majbari, he warned that the PC and GNA were a danger to the rest of Libya, including Tripoli. Al-Majbari referred to a “three-levelled militia struggle”, one within the individual Tripoli militias, one between Tripoli militias, and one with the militias forced out of the capital city.
Meanwhile, in Libya’s East, the President of the House of Representatives (HoR), Aguila Saleh, issued a decision to abolish the post of military governor, a position currently held by the Libyan National Army (LNA) General Abdulrazzak Nadori. According to Saleh’s media advisor, the decision follows the complete “liberation” of the Eastern region and the subsequent end of military campaigns. On 19 Jun 2016, Saleh appointed Nadori as military governor responsible for the areas of Derna to Bin Jawad. Moreover, following Khalifa Haftar receiving health treatment overseas and amid rumors of his potential succession in Apr 2018, Nadori emerged as a potential candidate. Since the return of Haftar to the political scene following his stabilized health condition, reports suggest Nadori was increasingly sidelined. Whilst the motive behind the abolition of the military governor post is reportedly in response to the end of the East's military campaigns, the decision could potentially contribute to existing reports of wider rifts within the LNA. Beyond, in the Oil Crescent, on 16 Jul, the NOC declared force majeure on exports from Al-Zawiya’s oil terminal as production at the Sharara oil field fell to 125,000 barrels per day (bpd) leaving no excess crude for export. The NOC stated that field production is limited to 125,000 bpd, an amount adequate to only meet the requirements of the Zawiya refinery