The Libyan National Army (LNA), led by Khalifa Haftar, which controls the eastern part of Libya, announced on Monday that it took control over the Sharara, the country’s largest oil field which is located in the southwest of the country.
Haftar’s move represents a challenge against the UN-recognised government in Tripoli.
Last week, an aircraft affiliated to Haftar’s forces, intercepted a civil plane during an operation for controlling the oil rich southern part of Libya. The operation of the LNA in southern Libya has begun in January, fighting groups of militants and seizing control of oil establishments.
The oil corporations have stopped production since December, after being controlled by tribal men calling for their wages. The Sharara oil field is the largest in Libya and its production capacity reaches about 300,000 barrels of oil per day.
A spokesperson of the LNA said that, “The Libyan army, led by Haftar, seized control over the Sharara oil field and all its institutions peacefully without engaging in a combat with the security forces, which were securing the field.”
Moreover, the Libyan National Oil Corporation stressed on Tuesday its commitment toward resuming the production of the Sharara oil field, and ensuring the safety of all the workers in the field.
Violence has outraged in Libya since 2011, when a popular uprising ended with the ousting and death of former President Muammar Gaddafi. Since the ousting of Gaddafi, the country has rival governments and parliaments in the west and east.