LIBYA CALLS ON UN TO FORM INTERNATIONAL COMMITTEE TO AUDIT LIBYAN FINANCES
Last Updated: 2018-07-11
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TRIPOLI, July 11 (NNN-Xinhua) -- Libya's UN-backed Prime Minister Fayez Serraj called on the UN Security Council to form an international committee to audit the financial transactions of the country's two divided central banks.

"We call on your esteemed council to urgently form an international technical committee, supervised by the United Nations and assisted by international financial and economic organizations, to audit all the revenues, expenditures, and transactions of the Central Bank in Tripoli and the Central Bank in al-Bayda (eastern Libya)," Serraj said in a letter addressed to the UN Security Council.

Despite signing a UN-sponsored peace agreement by the Libyan parties later in 2015, the country remains politically divided between two governments in the east and the west, including two divided central banks.

"We stress that this request serves the public interest. It also clarifies the truth about the whole financial situation to everyone, in order to reveal all previous expenditures by any institution without exception," Serraj said.

The Libyan eastern-based army, led by Khalifa Haftar, recently took control of the oil crescent region, which is located some 500 km east of the capital Tripoli and contains the country's largest oil ports, after defeating the militants occupying it.

Shortly after that, the army handed over the region to the National Oil Corporation of the eastern-based interim government, instead of the Tripoli-based UN-backed unity government.

The UN-backed government warned against "negative repercussions" of suspension of oil exports in the oil crescent region, saying halting oil exports could cost more than 67 million U.S. dollars a day.

Libya suffered losses over the past years of more than 140 billion dollars due to repeated closures of oil fields and ports, as well as low prices of oil in the global market.

Meanwhile, Libya's eastern-based army, led by Gen. Khalifa Haftar, on Tuesday surrounded a group of militants suspected to be Daesh terrorists near central Jufra district.

According to the eastern-based Libyan news agency, the army's oil fields security operation chamber revealed it was surrounding a Daesh-suspected group who attacked an oil field near Jufra, some 650 km southeast of the capital Tripoli.

The operation chamber announced state of alert after receiving information about a mobilization of Daesh militants in an area far from the oil fields.

Jufra district is located in central Libya and consists of five small towns. It also contains Zalla basin, an important area with a number of major oil fields.

"The armed forces of the operation chamber are fully prepared and ready to face any threat or attack on the area and the surrounding fields," said Col. Yousef Abdulgader Saeed, commander of the operation chamber.

Daesh affiliates are mostly active in the areas surrounding Jufra all the way to southern Libya due to the nature of rugged desert.

In the past few years, terrorists have launched a number of attacks on oil fields in Zalla basin. -- NNN-XINHUA