In what is largely seen as a win for the Libyan National Army’s (LNA) General Khalifa Haftar, the United States Treasury Department, in conjunction with the United Nations, slapped sanctions on Libyan militia strongman Ibrahim Jadhran over the June attacks on the country’s vital oil ports, according to a Wednesday afternoon press release.
“Today’s action shows that the United States and the international community will take concrete and forceful action in response to those who undermine Libya’s peace, security, or stability,” the press release read in part.
The sanctions were proposed by Libya’s Permanent Mission to the UN.
Ibrahim Jadhran, former leader of Tripoli-backed Petroleum Facilities Guard (PFG), now finds himself on the wrong end of both the United Nations and the United States. Today’s sanctions block all of Jadhran’s assets that are under the jurisdiction of the United States, and prohibit any US citizen from engaging in any transactions with him. In addition to the financial aspects, Jadhran will be subject to an asset freeze and travel ban from all UN members.
The UN and US backing of this Libyan-led sanction proposal is a clear indication that General Haftar now has the full backing of the international community.
While the official Treasury Department press release makes no mention of General Haftar, the move is a clear win for the General who has—with great difficulty—held Libya’s oil industry together during turbulent times as various factions and militias, including Jadhran, seek to control the country, which means controlling its lucrative oil industry.
General Haftar, arguably the strongest force in Libya, likely represents Libya’s best hope for resuming normal oil output—even if he is viewed by many as another Gaddafi. The warring factions have led to a power vacuum in Libya, opening the door for the ISIS-claimed attacks on oil infrastructure earlier this week that left five dead and ten injured. Today’s sanctions may better position General Haftar to stabilize the country’s oil industry.