Libyan Prime Minister Abdullah al-Thinni, based near Benghahzi, in the eastern city of Al-Bayda, announced late on April 4 he had authorized his internationally recognized government’s oil corporation to open a separate bank account in the United Arab Emirates for oil revenues and to seek independent oil sales. Libya now produces around 600,000 barrels of crude per day, less than half the 1.6 million bpd it produced before the fall of Gaddafi. Several oil ports and major fields have been closed by fighting but the two biggest oil ports, Ras Lanuf and Es Sider with a combined capacity of 600,000 bpd, may open soon.
Until now oil sales and revenues have gone through Libya’s central bank and National Oil Corporation in Tripoli. Introducing a new payment mechanism would also mean breaking up the central bank system, the only source of hard currency for importers and one of the last institutions left untouched by the rival governments’ power struggle. It still pays public salaries across the country.
[March 5 2011 Mahmoud Jabril, Ali Tarhouni, Libyan rebel Interim National Council takes shape. Qatar markets oil
Libya’s rebel Interim National Council has gently sidelined its bumbling head, Mustafa Abdel Jalil, while letting him keep his title of president. Instead, an “executive committee”, whose members are American-trained and experienced in running Libya, has taken up the reins. The de facto prime minister, Mahmoud Jibril, is an American-trained politics professor who, until he resigned last year, ran Libya’s National Planning Council, which managed the economy with the colonel’s son, Seif al-Islam Qaddafi. Ali Tarhouni, the acting finance minister, responsible for oil and trade among other things, taught economics at the University of Washington in Seattle.
A fledgling diplomatic corps is also setting itself up in Benghazi, the rebels’ capital in the east. The French were first to arrive, with the British close behind and the Americans next. A Qatari representative is said to have set up camp at Marsa Matruh, the Egyptian town closest to the Libyan border. The Turks, who kept a presence all along, have become more openly active now that the rebels have promised to honour building contracts said to be worth $25 billion.
Qatar’s agreement to sell oil on the rebels’ behalf has let the fledgling Libyan government raise loans and revenues. Mr Tarhouni felt confident enough to pay civil servants their salaries for March and to make good on February’s shortfall.
Kofi Annan expressed his concern on the ongoing political unrest in some African countries like Ivory Coast, Libya and the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). He said if left to continue they might be the source of food insecurity in the continent. Former UN secretary General Kofi Annan, who is alliance for a green Revolution in Africa (Agra) chair, addresses a news conference in Dar es Salaam April 3.
The Obama administration dropped Musa Kusa’s financial sanctions to encourage other senior aides to abandon Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi.
“One of the intended purposes of sanctions against senior officials in the Libyan government was to motivate individuals within the Gaddafi regime to make the right decision and dissociate themselves from Gaddafi and his government,” said David S. Cohen, the acting treasury under secretary for terrorism and financial intelligence.
In an interview with the BBC, the Libyan leader’s son Saif al-Islam Gaddafi denied Kusa knew incriminating information about Lockerbie and other incidents and denied the former foreign minister had defected. He said Kusa was in London seeking medical help.