×

‘Keep us out of civil war’: Libya’s central bank

Libya's central bank has issued a rare warning to the country's warring factions to keep the institution out of the current conflict or risk triggering a renewed seizure of foreign assets.

"The Central Bank of Libya is asking everyone to understand the requirements of this phase, and to be aware of the privacy of the central bank, and not to pressure it", a statement posted on the bank's official website said.

A picture taken on July 28, 2014 shows smoke billowing from an oil depot where a huge blaze started following clashes around Tripoli airport, Libya.
Mahmud Turkia | AFP | Getty Images
A picture taken on July 28, 2014 shows smoke billowing from an oil depot where a huge blaze started following clashes around Tripoli airport, Libya.

On Monday most of Libya's leading ministries, institutions and state bodies were reported to have been taken over by armed militias representing a coalition of groups.

The takeover of Tripoli follows the mass resignation of country's interim government to pave way for the elected parliament, which has relocated to another city in Libya's east. Libyan Prime Minister Abdullah Al-Thinni, who had submitted his resignation only days ago, was tasked again on Monday to put together a cabinet.

The latest developments, and the establishment of two rival centers of government , have raised concerns about who was running the central bank.

Read MoreOil hits 3-week troughs as Libya declares end to oil crisis

The bank warned about the possible consequences of "continued pressure". International actors, it said, would be justified to freeze its assets abroad.

It would not be the first time Libya's foreign holdings had been seized. After the fall of Muammar Gaddafi in 2011, the OPEC member's sovereign assets were frozen -- in some cases for years -- and a complicated legal process ensued with individual countries to release them. According to Reuters, the latest June data showed Libya held around $109 billion in foreign cash reserves and equity stakes abroad.

The central bank's statement went on to compare its role to the Lebanese monetary authority, which represented a "red line to all fighting parties for many years" throughout the country's civil war.

Despite the turmoil, Libya's oil production has risen to 700,000 barrels per day, the highest level since June 2013, according to the state-run National Oil Corp (NOC)

Follow us on Twitter: @CNBCWorld