South African Report on UK and Qatar’s Disruptive Role in Libya in 2011 and Oil Deal with Rebels – Al Marsad

An article published by the South African newspaper, The Daily Maverick, shed light on UK’s subversive role in Libya during the government of David Cameron. It also said that Qatar pumped hundreds of millions of dollars in weapons with the blessing of the Cameron government, which dispatched an official in an oil company close to it to conclude an oil deal with opponents of Gaddafi’s regime in exchange for providing them with fuel for their military vehicles.

(LIBYA, 14 July 2021) – The article in The Daily Maverick indicated that the former British Prime Minister David Cameron’s strategy in Libya during 2011 was based on controlling Libyan oil in exchange for supporting opponents of the late Colonel Gaddafi with fuel, weapons and covert support.


The issue came to the surface after the current government approved former British Foreign Secretary Alan Duncan’s appointment with Vitol, one of the world’s leading petroleum traders. Observers say there is obvious conflict of interest given that Duncan had connections to Vitol and had helped them cut a deal in Libya during the 2011 revolution.

Former British Foreign Secretary Alan Duncan

The article quoted former Alan Duncan as saying that Cameron strongly supported the overthrow of the late Muammar Gaddafi, as well as the efforts of his opponents to export Libyan oil and not allowing the Gaddafi regime at the time to do so because they were “baddies”, in Duncan’s words.

It said that records show that while he was development minister, in May 2011, Duncan met with Vitol and a “cross Whitehall Libya oil cell” to “discuss Libya” where the UK was then fighting a war to remove Gaddafi. Vitol is one of the world’s largest petroleum traders.

In his diaries, Duncan noted: “Cameron avidly supported the toppling of President Muammar Gaddafi in 2011, and I ran a secret UK cell to block Libya’s oil flow.” Duncan described the cell as aiming to “stop the baddies selling oil while allowing the opposition to do so”

Around the time of the meeting, Ian Taylor, who was Vitol’s chief executive, had flown to Benghazi to strike an oil deal with forces fighting the Gaddafi regime, providing them with fuel in return for crude oil exports.


The deal was said to have been initiated by Qatar’s oil minister, “which was pouring hundreds of millions of dollars worth of arms to the Libyan opposition forces, with the blessing of David Cameron’s government”.

The article quoted Abdeljalil Mayuf, who was an official at the Arabian Gulf Oil in Benghazi, who said “the fuel from Vitol was very important for the military.”

According to the Daily Maverick, the operation was “tacitly approved” by Western governments “and Ian Taylor flew into Libya in a private plane which was chaperoned by a Nato drone.” It also stated that the deal struck by Duncan was reportedly worth US$1 billion.

Alan Duncan claimed that he nothing to do with the visit by Vitol’s Taylor to Libya and that neither he or Cameron’s had any involvement with Vitol’s commercial transactions.

The article quoted Andrew Feinstein, the founder of Corruption Watch UK who said: “It is deeply worrying that the British government does not seem to be fully investigating public servants’ links to private companies before approving them to take up employment there.”


Libyan observers have also highlighted the case of the former British Ambassador to Libya (2015–2018), Peter Millet, who seems to be using contacts developed in Libya during his tenure as ambassador for private commercial gain.

Former British Ambassador to Libya, Peter Millett

Since leaving his position, Millet has been been providing consultancy services to the Central Bank of Libya (CBL), National Oil Corporation (NOC), and the Libyan Investment Authority (LIA) and making political remarks on social media favouring the entities he renders services to in a blatant breach of protocol and financial transparency.

Millett worked alongside NOC boss Mustafa Sanallah for more than a year since he began consulting and mediated the renewal of all NOC’s contracts with BP and Glencore. He also assisted the LIA to obtain the release of its assets which have been frozen outside the country.

There has been no formal statement by Millett on the possible conflict of interest of his role as a former diplomat and his consultancy work right after leaving his post.