News / Middle East

Rebel Oil Shipment Prompts Political Chaos in Libya

Rebel Oil Shipment Prompts Political Chaos in Libyai
|| 0:00:00
...  
🔇
X
Henry Ridgwell
March 13, 2014 10:34 PM
Ali Zeidan was forced to stand down as Libya’s prime minister this week after rebel forces in the east successfully exported oil via a North Korean flagged tanker. There are growing fears of an escalation in conflict between rival rebel militias, as Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Rebel Oil Shipment Prompts Political Chaos in Libya
Henry Ridgwell
Ali Zeidan was forced to stand down as Libya’s prime minister this week after rebel forces in the east successfully exported oil via a North Korean flagged tanker - despite assurances from the government that naval forces were in control. Zeidan’s resignation plunges Libya back into political crisis, and there are growing fears of an escalation in conflict between rival rebel militias.

Rebel forces in the eastern port of Sidra had loaded an estimated 234,000 barrels of crude, worth around $24 million, onto the North Korean-flagged tanker Morning Glory. The vessel left the oil terminal Monday and managed to evade a naval blockade.

It was a humiliation for Prime Minister Ali Zeidan, who had vowed to bomb the tanker if it left Libya. Parliament voted to oust him Tuesday.

Leadership void

Zeidan did not retain the loyalty of many members of the government or armed forces, according to Jason Pack, researcher of Libyan history at Cambridge University.

"Former Prime Minister Zeidan is actually not the commander-in-chief of the Libyan armed forces. That role would have been fulfilled by the General National Congress President, Nuri Abu Sahmein, who as an Islamist is an opponent of Ali Zeidan,” said Pack.

Zeidan’s interim successor, former Defense Minister Abdallah Al-Thinni was sworn in Wednesday. On the streets of Tripoli, the prime minister’s resignation was largely welcomed.

Abdullah Maslaty, a resident in the capital, said that Ali Zeidan did nothing for the country. “He's been in power for a year and three months, and achieved nothing."

Rival rebebl militias

Tripoli-based political analyst Salah Elbakoush said Libya’s central government is failing to function. “Government institutions performed really bad. And you see thousands of employees, they are 80 percent overstaffed,” he said.

The Tripoli government has given rebels in the east a two-week ultimatum to stop blockading the oil terminals, or face a military assault. But the rebels have faced down such government threats many times before, says Cambridge analyst Jason Pack.

"The situation is awful because sub-state actors have shown that they can undermine the resolve of the central government, and sell pirated oil on the international scene, which sets the stage for conflict between stronger sub-state actors and the weaker Libyan state,” said Pack.

The eastern rebels, led by Ibrahim Jathran, want greater autonomy for their region, known as Cyrenaica. But they face rival rebel groups and Islamist factions.

“Right now we’re seeing battles in Sirte between Jathran’s federalist forces, and Misratan and Islamist militias," said Pack. "So Jathran is likely to lose in any direct military confrontation, he does not have the forces he promises himself to have. However, there is a danger for a kind of regional war that would polarize more the east and the west in Libya.”

Nearly three years after the ouster of former dictator Moammar Gadhafi, there are growing fears the political vacuum could breed further conflict.

You May Like

Analyst: Joint-Arab Military Force Poses Perilous Challenge

Although international forces are desperately needed to counter the threat of the Islamic State group, analysts say conflicting alliances could escalate fighting More

Asia’s Middle Class Changes Demand for Wheat Grain Exporters

Changes in tastes and diets are boon for wheat exporters such as Australia and the United States More

S. African Comedian Taking Over Popular TV Show

Mixed-race comedian Trevor Noah, who is loved for his edgy jibes about race and language, is taking the helm from Jon Stewart at The Daily Show in US More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Film Tells Story of Musicians in Mali Threatened by Jihadistsi
X
Greg Flakus
March 30, 2015 6:48 PM
At this year's annual South by Southwest film and music festival in Austin, Texas, some musicians from Mali were on hand to promote a film about how their lives were upturned by jihadists who destroyed ancient treasures in the city of Timbuktu and prohibited anyone from playing music under threat of death. As VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Austin, some are afraid to return to their hometowns even though the jihadists are no longer in control there.
Video

Video Film Tells Story of Musicians in Mali Threatened by Jihadists

At this year's annual South by Southwest film and music festival in Austin, Texas, some musicians from Mali were on hand to promote a film about how their lives were upturned by jihadists who destroyed ancient treasures in the city of Timbuktu and prohibited anyone from playing music under threat of death. As VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Austin, some are afraid to return to their hometowns even though the jihadists are no longer in control there.
Video

Video With Coalition Airstrikes, Iraq Entering 'Last Page' of IS Battle

American warplanes joined Iraq's battle against the so-called 'Islamic State' in northern Iraq late Wednesday, as Iraqi ground troops launched a massive assault on Tikrit. Analysts say the offensive could take the coalition a step further towards Mosul, the largest city held by Islamic State forces. Others say it could also deepen already-dangerous sectarian tensions in the region. VOA's Heather Murdock has more from Cairo.
Video

Video Philippines Wants Tourists Spending Money at New Casinos

Tourism is a multi-billion dollar industry in the Philippines. Close to five million foreign visitors traveled there last year, perhaps lured by the country’s tropical beaches. But Jason Strother reports from Manila that the country hopes to entice more travelers to stay indoors and spend money inside new casinos.
Video

Video Civilian Casualties Push Men to Join Rebels in Ukraine

The continued fighting in eastern Ukraine and the shelling of civilian neighborhoods seem to be pushing more men to join the separatist fighters. Many of the new recruits are residents of Ukraine made bitter by new grievances, as well as old. VOA's Patrick Wells reports.
Video

Video Islamic State Prisoners Talk of Curiosity, God, Regret

Islamic State fighter, a prisoner of Kurdish YPG forces, asked his family asking for forgiveness: "I destroyed myself and I destroyed them along with me." The Syrian youth was one of two detainees who spoke to VOA’s Kurdish Service about the path they chose; their names have been changed and identifying details obscured. VOA's Zana Omer reports.
Video

Video Germanwings Findings Raise Issue of Psychological Testing for Pilots

More is being discovered about the co-pilot in the crash of Germanwings Flight 9525 in the French Alps. Investigators say he was hiding a medical condition, raising questions about the mental qualifications of pilots. VOA's Carolyn Presutti reports.
Video

Video Hi-tech Motorbike Helmet's Goal: Improve Road Safety

In cities with heavily congested traffic, people can get around much faster on a motorcycle than in a car. But a rider who is not sure of his route may have to stop to look at the map or consult a GPS. A Russian start-up company is working to make navigation easier for motorcyclists. Designers at Moscow-based LiveMap are developing a smart helmet with a built-in navigation system, head-mounted display and voice recognition. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video DOJ: Illinois National Guard Soldier Tried to Join ISIS

U.S. federal law enforcement agents arrested two suburban Chicago men accused of trying to join ISIS overseas, while also plotting attacks in the United States. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports from the Midwest state of Illinois, one of those arrested is a soldier of the Illinois National Guard.
Video

Video New Wheelchair Is Easier to Use, Increases Mobility

Traditional push-rim wheelchairs create a lot of stress for arm, shoulder and neck muscles and joints. A redesigned chair, based on readily available bicycle technology, radically increases mobility while reducing the physical effort. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Liberia's Almost Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grieving

Beatrice Yardolo was to make history as Liberia’s last Ebola patient. Liberians recently started counting down 42 days, the period that has to go by without a single new infection until the World Health Organization can declare a country Ebola-free. That countdown stopped on March 20 when there was another new case of Ebola, making Yardolo’s story a reminder that Ebola is far from over. Benno Muchler reports from Monrovia.
Video

Video Cambodian Land Grabs Threaten Traditional Communities

Indigenous communities in Cambodia's Ratanakiri province say the government’s economic land concession policy is taking away their land and traditional way of life, making many fear that their identity will soon be lost. Local authorities, though, have denied this is the case. VOA's Say Mony went to investigate and filed this report, narrated by Colin Lovett.
Video

Video Space Program Status Disappoints 'Last Man on the Moon'

One of the films that drew big crowds last week at the annual South by Southwest festival in Austin, Texas, tells the story of the last human being to stand on the moon, U.S. astronaut Eugene Cernan. It has been 42 years since Cernan returned from the moon and he laments that no one else has gone there since. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports.

VOA Blogs

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More