News / Middle East

Libya Asks UN to Help Protect Oil Fields

FILE - A general view of pipelines at the Zueitina oil terminal in Zueitina, west of Benghazi, April 7, 2014.
FILE - A general view of pipelines at the Zueitina oil terminal in Zueitina, west of Benghazi, April 7, 2014.
Margaret Besheer

Libya’s foreign minister has painted a bleak picture of the situation in his country, warning it could become a failed state without international assistance.

Mohamed Abdul-Aziz appealed to the U.N. Security Council Thursday, saying Tripoli needs help to protect its oil fields and build functioning government institutions.  The minister was adamant, however, that this would not involve military intervention.

“What we are calling for is a stabilization and institution-building mission. Mainly experts who can train Libyans on the site in relation to building the military, building the police, building the intelligence establishment," he said. "At the same time, helping us with a security strategy that will protect our oil fields, because 98 percent of the income of Libya comes from the oil."

He asked that this assistance be under United Nations auspices, but said if the U.N. could not provide it, Libya would seek it through regional or bilateral arrangements.

The U.N. already has a small political support mission in Libya.  UNSMIL was established in 2011, at the request of the transitional government to assist on several fronts, including political affairs, human rights, transitional justice and demobilization.  It has just over 200 personnel in Libya, but on Monday had to temporarily relocate most of them outside the country due to the recent escalation in fighting that has seen both the Tripoli and Benghazi airports close.

Foreign Minister Abdul-Aziz also noted that over the past year, oil production has dropped from 1.5 million barrels per day to between 150 and 300 barrels daily, costing the government some $30 billion in lost revenue.  He said the government does not have the tools necessary to handle militants who have taken control of the country’s main resource.

He warned that there are many indications that Libya is headed toward becoming a failed state and that the Security Council should engage more effectively to prevent that happening.

“Should Libya become a failed state, kidnapped by radical groups and warlords, the consequences will be far reaching and perhaps could be beyond control," he said.

He cautioned that Libya could become a “hub” for religious radicals and extremists, especially in the lawless east of the country.

In the past week, the country has seen some of its fiercest fighting since the toppling of dictator Moammar Gadhafi in 2011.

You May Like

EU Court Fines Poland for Hosting CIA 'Black Sites'

Ruling is first time a court has acknowledged suspects were held and tortured at the sites, under US program launched following the 9/11 terrorist attacks More

Migrant Issues Close to Home Spur Groups to Take Action

Groups placing water, food in the desert, or aiding detainees after release, have one common goal: no more deaths of migrants crossing illegally into the US More

Video At AIDS Conference, Prevention Pill Stirs Excitement

Truveda shows promise, spurring debate over access and other approaches More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Treatment for Childhood Epilepsy Heats up Medical Marijuana Debatei
X
Shelley Schlender
July 24, 2014 6:43 PM
In the United States, marijuana is classed as an illegal drug by the federal government. But nearly half the states have legalized it, to some degree. Proponents say some strains of marijuana might have exceptional health benefits, for treating pain or inflammation in chronic conditions such as cancer, multiple sclerosis and epilepsy. Shelley Schlender reports on a strain of medical marijuana developed in Colorado that is reputed to reduce seizures in childhood epilepsy
Video

Video Treatment for Childhood Epilepsy Heats up Medical Marijuana Debate

In the United States, marijuana is classed as an illegal drug by the federal government. But nearly half the states have legalized it, to some degree. Proponents say some strains of marijuana might have exceptional health benefits, for treating pain or inflammation in chronic conditions such as cancer, multiple sclerosis and epilepsy. Shelley Schlender reports on a strain of medical marijuana developed in Colorado that is reputed to reduce seizures in childhood epilepsy
Video

Video Airbus Adds Metal 3D Printed Parts to New Jets

By the end of this year, European aircraft manufacturing consortium Airbus plans to deliver the first of its new, extra-wide-body passenger jets, the A350-XWB. Among other technological innovations, the new plane will also incorporate metal parts made in a 3-D printer. VOA's George Putic has more.
Video

Video Death Toll From Israel-Gaza Conflict Surpasses 700

Gaza officials say a shelling hit a compound housing a United Nations-run school in the Gaza Strip, killing more than a dozen people, during an Israeli offensive in the area. Heavy fighting between the Israeli military and Hamas militants continued on Thursday, pushing up the death toll. So far, more than 730 Palestinians and 35 Israelis have been killed in the conflict. VOA's Scott Bobb has the latest from Jerusalem.
Video

Video AIDS Conference Welcomes Exciting Developments in HIV Treatment, Prevention

Significant strides have been made in recent years toward the treatment and prevention of HIV, the virus that causes AIDS. This year, at the International AIDS Conference, the AIDS community welcomed progress on a new pill that may prevent transmission of the deadly virus. VOA’s Anita Powell reports from Melbourne, Australia.
Video

Video Israel Targets Gaza Supply Tunnels

The Israeli military has launched a ground operation in Gaza to destroy the myriad tunnels that may have been used to smuggle weapons to Hamas. VOA's Zlatica Hoke reports that could mean more hardship for the people of Gaza, who obtain some of their essential supplies through these underground passages
Video

Video Researchers Target Low-Cost Avatar Technology

Scientists at the University of Southern California Institute for Creative Technologies say 3-dimensional representations could revolutionize social media. Elizabeth Lee has more from Los Angeles.
Video

Video IAEA: Iran Turns its Enriched Uranium Into Less Harmful Form

Iran has converted its stockpiles of enriched uranium into a less dangerous form that is more difficult to use for nuclear weapons, according to the United Nations’ Atomic Energy Agency. The move complies with an interim deal reached with Western powers on Iran's nuclear program last year, in exchange for easing of sanctions. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video In Cambodia, HIV Diagnosis Brings Deadly Shame

Although HIV/AIDS is now a treatable condition, a positive diagnosis is still a life altering experience. In Cambodia, people living with HIV are often disowned by friends, family and the community. This humiliation can be unbearable. We bring you one Cambodian woman’s struggle to overcome a life tragedy and her own HIV positive diagnosis.

AppleAndroid