MAST Security Update: Yemen & Libya

 
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Tuesday, 19 February 2019

MAST Security Update: Yemen & Libya

Yemen
A ceasefire between the two warring parties was declared on Sunday to allow humanitarian aid access to areas of need. The ceasefire appears to have not been observed by either party.

Control of the Al Anad Air Base 50 km north of Aden is being heavily contested, with the Saudi led coalition attempting to oust Houthi rebels.

Access to the port of Aden and adjacent territorial waters is being controlled by Saudi warships. In the port, activity is confined to food aid vessels and their shipments. Despite the recent fighting, infrastructure appears to be largely intact. One of the larger oil tanks has been destroyed by a bomb or missile attack and the jetties and roads are littered with damaged and burnt out vehicles. The jetties are being patrolled by pro-government forces.

Libya
The official Government in Tobruk has re-taken Derna and is now seeking to re-capture Benghazi from Islamist control. Benghazi’s port remains closed.

It was the National Oil Corporation’s (NOC) stated aspiration to increase oil production by the end of Ramadan.

Gerry Northwood OBE, COO of leading maritime security company MAST, said: “So far this increase is not materialising with power failures at oil production facilities being blamed for the continued fall in Libya’s oil production. There have been reports of fighting in the south of the country near some of the oil fields and this might also be contributing to disrupting oil output.”

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) said on Friday it has recognised the central bank governor named by Libya’s official government as its sole contact, thus ending ties with a rival bank chief in Tripoli.

Northwood said: “This means that the IMF is no longer working with Libya’s Central Bank in Tripoli, which until now had control of Libya’s oil revenues. Whether the Central Bank in Tripoli can retain control of oil revenues remains to be seen.”

He added: “This move by the IMF may allow the Tobruk government to secure the revenues from oil production and given that they also control the majority of the oil fields and ports, they may now have an incentive to increase production and open up the ports.”

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