Commodities, Energy, Frontier Markets

Libya Requests U.N. For Tanks, Jets, Arms To Fight Islamic State; Declares Force Majeure On Oil Fields

Libya Oil FlagLibya has reportedly requested the United Nations (UN) for permission to import 150 tanks, 24 fighter jets, 7 attack helicopters, tens of thousands of assault rifles and grenade launchers, and millions of rounds of ammunition from Ukraine, Serbia, and Czech Republic, according to a report from Reuters on Wednesday.

The North African nation has submitted a written plea to the UN Security Council committee that is overseeing an arms embargo that was imposed on Libya, according to Reuters, after it said it obtained a copy of the letter on Wednesday.

Reuters said that according to the document, Libya said that it needs the massive shipment of weapons and military equipment in order to support its ongoing fight against the Islamic State and other extremists and to control its borders.

As long as there are no objects by any of the 15-member committee, the request is set to be approved at 3 p.m. EST (2000 GMT) on Monday, Reuters said.

On Wednesday, U.N. special envoy Bernardino Leon warned the Security Council that the Islamic State would “stop at nothing” to broaden its presence.

“The international community must move quickly to present a clearly articulated strategy in support of the Libyan state and the efforts of a national unity government in combating the growing threat of terrorism,” he said.

“Unless Libyan leaders act quickly and decisively, the risk to their country’s national unity and territorial integrity are real and imminent,” Leon said.

Also on Wednesday, Libya declared a force majeure over the 11 oil fields located in the center of country, following waves of attacks by the Islamic State against the nation’s facilities, The Wall Street Journal (WSJ) reported.

Libya’s state-owned National Oil Corp. (NOC) said that it was no longer capable of ensuring security on its 11 oil fields and that it has declared a force majeure on them, a move to guarantee legal protection from any claims against future disruptions, the WSJ reports.

Libya’s Dahra oil field, which is located around 310 miles southeast of Tripoli, was attacked late on Tuesday, hours after two other oil fields were targeted by the militants, the WSJ said.

Libya is pumping around 500,000 barrels of crude oil per day, three times less than its peak output, according to the WSJ.

Earlier in February, the National Oil Corp. (NOC) warned that it would shutdown oil production at all its fields if the nation’s authorities failed to contain a rapid increase of attacks on its facilities.


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