Oil production has stopped in 4 Libyan fields… and Boumtari’s whereabouts are still unknown

A Libyan tribal leader confirmed, on Friday, that the kidnapping of the former Finance Minister, Faraj Boumtari, led to Closure of 4 oil fields in the south of the country.

For its part, the Libyan House of Representatives said, in a series of statements it issued on Thursday evening, that the Internal Security Service had kidnapped Boumtari at Mitiga Airport, on the outskirts of the capital, Tripoli. He added that Prime Minister Abd al-Hamid al-Dabaiba – an ally of the head of the security apparatus – is now responsible for Boumtari’s safety.

The alleged kidnapping took place on Tuesday, according to Libyan media, and the minister’s whereabouts remain unknown.

In response to the kidnapping, the Zway tribe in southern Libya – from which Boumtari hails – led the closure of four internal oil fields on Thursday, one of the tribe’s elders, Senussi Al-Zway, told The Associated Press.

He also said that among the four sites that confirms that it has stopped production, The Sharara field, located in the southwest of the country, is one of the largest Libyan oilfields and produces hundreds of thousands of barrels per day.

“Our main demand is the release of the minister,” said the tribal leader, who spoke by phone from the eastern city of Benghazi on Friday.

Former Finance Minister Faraj Boumtari

He explained that the other three sites that he confirms have stopped production are the El Feel field, the Abu Attifel field, and the 108 field. For its part, the Libyan National Oil Company did not comment on this news.

In a statement published Thursday evening, the United Nations Mission in Libya announced that it Worried about the news of Boumtari’s kidnapping The oil fields were closed, and she called for an end to the closure.

For its part, the Al-Zway tribe said that it believes that the governor of the Libyan Central Bank, Al-Siddiq Al-Kabeer and Al-Dabiba, is behind the kidnapping, as Boumtari was a candidate to succeed Al-Kabir as governor of the bank.

Libya’s precious oil fields have been subject to frequent closures for various political reasons and due to protesters’ demands since 2011. Last year, tribal leaders briefly closed the Sharara field amid a standoff between the two rival governments.

The Boumtari kidnapping comes as the two rival administrations continue to clash over a series of electoral laws, amid mounting pressure from the United Nations to end a decade of political stalemate.

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