Battle over Libya’s two largest oil ports continued on Monday as the Benghazi Defence Brigades (BDB) widened control over the area, according to a leader of the group, Mostafa al-Sharkasy.
The BDB took control of the ports on Friday from Eastern-based Libyan National Army (LNA) who had been controlling the ports since September, 2016.
The Benghazi Defence Brigades is a group formed from Benghazi’s Military Zone which has over 3000 soldiers who refused to aim their arms at the revolutionaries of 2011, refused to be coup leaders and have military rule returned to Libya.
“Our main aim is to retake our city. Our main aim is to reject injustice and military rule. We are Libyans, and when we rallied against Gaddafi, we wanted freedom, we wanted to build legitimate institutions and leaders who would rule the country as those in the developed world do,” one of the leaders of the Bengazi Defence Brigades, Mostafa Al-Shakasy said.
The escalation risks reversing a recent recovery in Libya’s oil production and reigning conflict between military factions based in eastern and western Libya that have been fighting on and off for the past three years.
Libya’s recent oil production is more than double the OPEC member’s output last year, but still far under the 1.6 million barrels per day which the country was producing before a 2011 uprising.