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Libya's oil infrastructure, the only real industry in the country. Screenshot from YouTube

Libya: Conflict parties approach each other through a common state budget

Two Libyan belligerents, the "Government of National Accord" (GNA) ruling in Tripoli and the opposition Libyan National Army (LNA) has announced a thaw after years of fighting. The initiative for this comes from the Deputy Prime Minister of the GNA, Ahmed Maiteeq, and the commander of the LNA, General Khalifa Haftar.

Published: October 22, 2020, 10:47 am

    Tripoli

    Maiteeq explained the strategy in an interview with the British news agency Reuters: the aim of combining the budget was to follow a path that would ultimately lead to a “peace agreement” between the two enemy camps.

    At the center of the agreement between Maiteeq and Haftar which was reached in September this year, is the end of the eight-month blockade of oil production and exports. The main issue currently is the fair distribution of income from the sale of oil. According to Maiteeq, “oil production will reach 550 000 to 560 000 barrels per day by the end of October,” and even one million barrels per day are on the cards by the end of the year.

    Libya’s energy industry is organized by the National Oil Corporation (NOC), whose revenues go directly to the Libyan central bank based in Tripoli. And this is where the real battle between the two camps has been going on.

    In the past, the GNA used these revenues to finance the institutions and salaries of civil servants and the military in its fight against the LNA. The rival government in Benghazi, in turn, accumulated debts, also to finance the struggle of the LNA.

    According to Maiteeq and Haftar, a common state budget should now be a starting point for a stable peace order. “Both sides presented a budget plan for the year 2021,” said Maiteeq. The budget of the GNA amounts to 45 to 48 billion dinars. The eastern part of the country, controlled by the Benghazi administration, expects a budget of five to eight billion dinars.

    “The consolidation of the budget will be the backbone of the agreement with the eastern part,” said Maiteeq, who is already being considered by experts as a potential successor to the outgoing GNA ruler Fayez Sarraj.

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