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World

Libyan factions risking war over oil

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World

Libyan factions risking war over oil

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00:00:01
>> As Libyan forces battle the last remaining Islamic State militants in the once besieged city of Sirte. Forces loyal to the rebel commander Khalifa Haftar are seizing oil ports, risking civil war over Libya's resources. Patrick Markey is Reuters' North Africa bureau chief.>> If we just review the situation in Libya at the moment.
00:00:20
Since 2011 and the fall of Muammar Gaddafi, the country has basically splintered into various armed groups. And some of these groups control different areas where the country's oil resources are. Oil has always been central to some of the conflict in Libya. At one point we had two separate governments, one in the East and one in Tripoli.
00:00:40
Each claiming control over different parts of the country and also different parts of the oil resources. What's happening at the moment is that there is a UN backed government in Tripoli which is trying to bring back all of these factions together. But is being resisted by some hardliners including some of the eastern elements under the control of General Khalifa Haftar.
00:01:03
And some of the remnants of an eastern government that was set up before.>> Adding to the internal conflict, Tripoli's government is struggling to fight off Islamic State. Which took over Sirte in 2015 in the hopes of emulating their gains in Iraq and Syria. But according to the government, victory is close.
00:01:21
>> This victory would be a benefit for the Tripoli government because it's backed by the UN and the Western governments. But also for Misrata in the east. And this may be one of the reasons why Haftar moved to take over the oil ports at this moment. As a way to extend his influence just as Misratan forces were gaining ground against Sirte.
00:01:41
Which is not far away from where the oil ports are themselves. So obviously, there's quite a lot of maneuvering going on here as Islamic State is facing defeat. And as Haftar moves towards taking over some his oil ports.>> But even with the fall of Sirte, IS is far from defeated in Libya.
00:01:58
And a civil war would only make them stronger.
NOISE]