What Happened: Abdullah al-Thani, the prime minister of Libya's parallel government in Benghazi, has accused the country's central bank of restricting public salary payments to the eastern half of the country, AP reported Oct. 16. According to al-Thani, the east is receiving just $126 million per month for salary payments despite holding two-thirds of the country's oil reserves.
Why It Matters: If al-Thani's accusations are true and Libya's central bank restricts public salaries to the country's east, it could give Khalifa Hifter, commander of the Libyan National Army and supporter of al-Thani, a reason to cut off the country's oil exports.
Background: Al-Thani's comments reflect underlying suspicion and concern among many Libyans in the country's eastern regions that the central bank remains more closely aligned with the Tripoli-based government.
- Warning Signs Grow for Libyan Oil Production (Sept. 27, 2019)
- Libya: The Government of National Accord Takes Aim at French and Other European Firms (May 9, 2019)
- An Escalation in Tripoli Pushes Libya to the Brink of Open War (April 16, 2019)