On Thursday, spokesman for the Libyan National Army (LNA) Maj. Gen. Ahmed Al-Mismari announced that they had released a Turkish ship after paying its crew a fine for sailing in a Libyan restricted area.
On Monday, the LNA forces intercepted the Turkish ship, flying the Jamaican flag, which was heading to the port of Misrata in western Libya.
The Turkish vessel, ‘Mabrouka’, had 17 crew members including nine Turkish nationals and also carried containers that had not yet been inspected. LNA naval forces stopped it near the eastern port of Derna.
The spokesman expressed his grave concerns over Turkey’s continued transfer of military equipment, mercenaries, and terrorists from other countries to Libya. He alleged that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan does not want peace and seeks to void the ceasefire in the country.
It’s the second Turkish-owned vessel seized by LNA forces this year, according to Ambrey Intelligence, a British private maritime intelligence firm. In 2020, the LNA seized at least six ships.
The Turkish-backed Government of National Accord (GNA) and the LNA signed a ceasefire agreement in October, under the auspices of the United Nations. The two sides have agreed to hold national elections in December 2021.
The North African country has been split west to east since it descended into chaos following the 2011 uprising that ousted and killed longtime dictator Muammar Qaddafi.