Libya’s oil minister suspended amid legal probe

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Libya’s oil and gas minister, Mohamed Aoun, has been suspended due to an ongoing legal investigation. As reported by Reuters on March 25th, Libya’s Administrative Control Agency (ACA), announced on Facebook the temporary suspension of the minister, linking it to case no.178, an ongoing legal inquiry.

READ: Libya: Protesters continue to halt gas and oil supply

While further details of the case are unknown, Aoun was referred to in an ACA statement by the initials of his full name. The ACA, is a Libyan government agency tasked with overseeing the performance of the government and ensuring public accountability. According to reports, the oil and gas ministry itself has not received an official copy of the minister’s suspension decision.

Aoun’s suspension comes amidst the backdrop of many worker protests across the country, which have in many cases resulted in oil field closures and shutdowns, seriously impacting Libya’s oil production levels as well as global market flows. The country’s oil industry, which represents its most vital resource, has been fraught with division in recent years.

In 2021, Aoun attempted to suspend the head of the national oil corporation, Mustafa Sanalla. He eventually departed from his post in mid-2022, amid growing political and security issues. Later that year, Libya’s oil output recovered to 1.2 million barrels per day, up from below 700,000 some months before.

READ: Libya: Production to resume at Shahara oil field

Since the aftermath of the ousting of Libyan dictator Muammar Gadhafi, the North African country has been facing internal conflict and political turmoil, resulting in its division between rival eastern and western administrations.

Libya’s oil industry lies at the heart of the nation’s economy, and amid tensions and protests by oil workers about lacks in infrastructure, deteriorating workers’ rights, and low pay, oil field closures are threatening to cost the government more than $20.69 billion in annual revenue.

Reuters


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