Khalifa Haftar

JOHANNESBURG –Libyan warlord General Khalifa Haftar has handed back control of the oil ports under his authority to the country’s National Oil Corporation (NOC), ending a three-week dispute that had effectively closed down the country’s oil industry and threatened to strangle efforts at political reconciliation across Libya, the Guardian reported.

The ports of Ras Lanuf, Es Sider, Zueitina and Hariga in Libya’s eastern oil crescent were all handed back to NOC control without any obvious tangible concession being made to Haftar who leads the self declared Libyan National Army (LNA).

An oil rig is shown in this file photo.

Two rival governments are vying for control of the North African country. The Government of National Accord (GNA) is based in the capital Tripoli in the West and the House of Representatives (HoR) in Tobruk in the east which is supported by the LNA.

Haftar, an American citizen, handed the ports over to the NOC following a letter from US President Donald Trump that legal action would be taken over the crippling of oil production by Haftar and his men.

As political and military chaos continues to wrack Libya, control of the country’s major assets, including the oil terminals and the central bank, has been the goal of warring military factions in order to secure political supremacy.

Haftar’s control of the ports had disrupted production, leading to the loss of billions of barrels of oil per day and further threatened Libya’s already decimated economy.

- African News Agency (ANA)