News / Middle East

Libyan Islamist Party's Ministers Quit

FILE - Libya's Prime Minister Ali Zeidan
FILE - Libya's Prime Minister Ali Zeidan
Reuters
Libya's Islamist Justice and Construction Party on Tuesday pulled its five ministers, including the oil minister, out of Prime Minister Ali Zeidan's government, complicating efforts to stabilize the OPEC country.
 
Two years after Moammer Gadhafi's fall, the oil-producing North African state has struggled to overcome political turmoil and heavily-armed ex-rebels who fought in the 2011 revolt against the autocrat but now refuse to disarm.
 
At least two people were killed in clashes on Tuesday west of Tripoli when soldiers and militia allies attacked an area where they said gunmen still loyal to Gadhafi were holed up, a Reuters witness and officials said.
 
Resignations by JCP, which had repeatedly failed to secure a vote of no-confidence against Zeidan, will deepen deadlock in the General National Congress (GNC) parliament, which has made little progress in Libya's transition to democracy.
 
“Zeidan failed in his duty to provide security, and to deliver in the electricity and oil sectors,” Nizar Kawan, a leading JCP member, said in a statement.
 
“We had asked for a withdrawal of confidence, but some don't understand the danger of the stage we are at now.”
 
Oil Minister Abdelbari Arusi was among those the JCP said was resigning.
 
Cabinet reshuffle
 
Zeidan, a Liberal not linked to any major political bloc, had announced earlier this month that he planned to replace some ministers in a cabinet reshuffle meant to stave off criticism of his government's performance.
 
He has survived several attempts in the GNC to drum up support for a no-confidence vote.
 
The GNC is caught in a stalemate between the JCP, the political wing of the Muslim Brotherhood, and the leading parliamentary party, National Forces Alliance, a more nationalist coalition.
 
Since the GNC was elected more than a year ago, infighting has delayed legislation, and Libya still has no constitution. Elections are expected next month to choose a 60-member committee to draft the new constitution.
 
Tuesday's clashes broke out after soldiers backed by militia fighters loosely aligned with the government stormed the Warshafena area on the western outskirts of Tripoli to capture gunmen they accused of belonging to pro-Gadhafi forces.
 
At least two people were killed when troops and militiamen fired anti-aircraft guns and rockets into the area where they had said tribal fighters resisted with small rockets, a Reuters witness and hospital officials said.
 
The fighting was the heaviest since rival former rebels and militiamen withdrew from their bases in the Libyan capital late last year when street clashes killed dozens of protesters demanding militias pull out of the city.
 
Controlling former fighters and tribal demands is a major challenge for the central government. One former rebel commander has seized eastern oil ports with his armed militia, holding them since August and choking off oil shipments, to demand more regional autonomy.
 
Zeidan's government managed to restart production in the south and west, bringing oil output up to 600,000 barrels per day.

You May Like

Karzai's Legacy: Missed Opportunities?

Afghanistan's president leaves behind a much different nation than the one he inherited, yet his legacy from 13 years in power is getting mixed reviews More

US Urges Restraint in Hong Kong Protests

Protesters angered by Beijing's decision to only approve candidates that it sanctions for Hong Kong's leadership elections in 2017 More

Archive of Forgotten UCLA Speeches Offers Snapshot of History

Recordings of prominent voices in social change, politics, science and literature from 1960s, early 1970s now available on YouTube More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Treasure Hunters Seek 'Hidden Treasure' in Central Kenyai
X
Gabe Joselow
September 29, 2014 6:20 PM
Could a cave in a small village in central Kenya be the site of buried treasure? A rumor of riches, left behind by colonialists, has some residents dreaming of wealth, while others see it as a dangerous hoax. VOA's Gabe Joselow has the story.
Video

Video Treasure Hunters Seek 'Hidden Treasure' in Central Kenya

Could a cave in a small village in central Kenya be the site of buried treasure? A rumor of riches, left behind by colonialists, has some residents dreaming of wealth, while others see it as a dangerous hoax. VOA's Gabe Joselow has the story.
Video

Video Iran's Rouhani Skeptical on Syria Strikes

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani expressed skepticism Friday that U.S.-led airstrikes in Iraq and Syria could crush Islamic State militants. From New York, VOA’s Margaret Besheer reports the president was also hopeful that questions about Iran’s nuclear program could be resolved soon.
Video

Video US House Speaker: Congress Should Debate Authorization Against IS

As wave after wave of U.S. airstrikes target Islamic State militants, the speaker of the Republican-controlled House of Representatives says he would be willing to call Congress back into session to debate a formal, broad authorization for the use of military force. VOA’s Michael Bowman reports from Washington, where legislators left town 10 days ago for a seven-week recess.
Video

Video Ebola Patients Find No Treatment at Sierra Leone Holding Center

At a holding facility in Makeni, central Sierra Leone, dozens of sick people sit on the floor in an empty university building. They wait in filthy conditions. It's a 16-hour drive by ambulance to Kailahun Ebola treatment center. Adam Bailes was there and reports on what he says are some of the worst situations he has seen since the beginning of this Ebola outbreak. And he says it appears case numbers may already be far worse than authorities acknowledge.
Video

Video Identifying Bodies Found in Texas Border Region

Thousands of immigrants have died after crossing the border from Mexico into remote areas of the southwestern United States in recent years. Local officials in south Texas alone have found hundreds of unidentified bodies and buried them in mass graves in local cemeteries. Now an anthropologist and her students at Baylor University have been exhuming bodies and looking for clues to identify them. VOA’s Greg Flakus has more from Waco, Texas.
Video

Video Ebola Robs Liberians of Chance to Say Good-Bye to Loved Ones

In Liberia, where Ebola has killed more than 1,500 people, authorities have worked hard to convince people to allow specialized burial teams to take away dead bodies. But these safety measures, while necessary, make it hard for people to say good bye to their loved ones. VOA's Anne Look reports on the tragedy from Liberia.
Video

Video Reconstruction? What Reconstruction? Life After War in Gaza

It’s been a month since Israel and the Palestinians agreed to a ceasefire to end 52 days of an air and tank war that left 60,000 homes in Gaza damaged or destroyed and 110,000 homeless. Sharon Behn reports that lack of reconstruction is leading to despair.
Video

Video US, Saudi Arabia and UAE Hit Islamic State's Oil Revenue

The United States, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates have bombed oil facilities operated by Islamic State militants in Syria. It was a truly collaborative effort, with the two Arab countries dropping the majority of the bombs. The 12 refineries targeted were estimated to generate as much as $2 million per day for the terrorist group. VOA Pentagon correspondent Carla Babb has the story.
Video

Video Russia's Food Sanctions Raise Price Worries, Hopes for Domestic Production

Russia retaliated against Western sanctions imposed for its actions in Ukraine by halting food imports from the West. The temporary import ban on food from Australia, the European Union, Norway and North America has Russian consumers concerned that they could face a sharp increase in food prices. But in an ironic twist, the restrictions aimed at the Kremlin have made Russia's domestic food producers hopeful this can boost their business. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Moscow.
Video

Video Washington to Pyongyang: 'Shut This Evil System Down'

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry is calling on North Korea to shut down prison camps and other human rights abuses following a United Nations Commission of Inquiry into "widespread and systematic human rights violations." VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns reports from the United Nations.
Colonel Steve ‘Spiros’ Pisanos left Greece and came to the U.S. to learn to fly. He flew fighters for the Allies in World War II, narrowly escaping death multiple times.Colonel Steve ‘Spiros’ Pisanos left Greece and came to the U.S. to learn to fly. He flew fighters for the Allies in World War II, narrowly escaping death multiple times.

AppleAndroid