The UN Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL) on Monday said that the commanders of the Petroleum Facilities Guards (PFG) of the Eastern and Western have agreed to work as one body.
Present at a meeting held in the eastern city of Brega on Monday were the Acting Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Libya Stephanie Williams, the Chairman of the state-owned National Oil Corporation (NOC) Mustafa Sanallah, and the commanders of the PFG of the Eastern and Western regions, UNSMIL said in a statement.
The meeting, which is the first of its kind, comes as part of efforts to unify and restructure the PFG and form a new oil facilities protection force, as stipulated in the cease-fire agreement signed on Oct. 23 in Geneva, the statement said.
“Today we launched a process to unify the Petroleum Facilities Guard and to launch a new project, the petroleum protection force. What happened here today is a direct fruit of the 5+5 Joint Military Commission talks that were enshrined in the October 23rd ceasefire agreement and confirmed in the follow-up meetings in Ghadames and Sirte,” Williams told a press conference following the meeting.
The two PFG commanders voiced readiness to move forward, saying that they have already started to coordinate and are now aiming to work as one body, the statement said.
Both the NOC and the PFG commanders agreed to meet at a technical level soon in the western city of Zawiya to detail the restructuring of the unit, and work on a pilot project to set up a model security force at Erawin, a new oil field in south-western Libya that is due to open in 2021.
Amid insecurity and chaos, Libya suffers political division between the UN-backed government and east-based authorities, which negatively affected the oil sector, the country’s main source of income.