News / Middle East

Threat Issued in Libyan Oil Export Dispute

Libya's Prime Minister Ali Zeidan speaks during a news conference in Tripoli, Mar. 8, 2014.
Libya's Prime Minister Ali Zeidan speaks during a news conference in Tripoli, Mar. 8, 2014.
Edward Yeranian
Leaders of eastern Libya's self-declared autonomous region of Barqa declared Saturday that they had begun exporting oil from the port of Sidra and would share revenues with the central government in accordance with a 1951 constitution. Prime Minister Ali Zeidan told journalists later that government authorities have warned a North Korean-flagged oil tanker to leave Libyan waters or face attack.

Libyan Prime Minister Ali Zeidan repeated an official warning to a North Korean-flagged oil tanker Saturday afternoon to “leave Libyan waters” or face attack.

He said that the North Korean tanker, bearing the name Morning Glory, entered the Libyan port of Sidra, breaking international law, and was warned to leave or face attack. He stressed that the ship has said it would like to leave, but is being forced by militiamen to load crude.

Zeidan indicated that his government hoped to resolve the crisis “as soon as possible” but that a government attack on the ship “would create an ecological disaster.” He added that “orders for the ship to leave were not carried out by the army,” due to an internal conflict.

He said that the Libyan Army chief of staff was refusing to accept orders from the defense minister or from the government, making it impossible to make the army take action.

Reuters news agency reported that militiamen in the port of Sidra had overseen the loading of the North Korean oil tanker. The ship has reportedly been in Libyan territorial waters since Tuesday. Militia leader Ibrahim Jadran in nearby Ajdabiya is reportedly behind the tug-of-war.

Leaders of the eastern separatist region of Barqa, who have declared autonomy from Libya's central government several times since 2012, told journalists that they endorsed the export of oil, which they claim as a right under a 1951 constitution dividing the country into 3 regions.

Abdrabou al-Barassi, the self-styled “prime minister” of the Braqa region insisted that his region would continue oil exports and would not accept threats from the central government.

He said that his region would not accept any threats with respect to ships or tankers dealing with it. He claimed that he was not making any threats and did not want to use force, but that his region was claiming its rights and warned against any attack.

Al-Barassi went on to argue that his region was “protecting the oil wealth of all Libyans,” and that it would “return 15 percent of revenues to the central government,” in accordance with an old arrangement under the regime of King Idriss al-Senoussi, who was deposed in 1969.

Another separatist official, Sheikh Mabreik al-Lawati, urged Western governments to buy oil from his region.

He said that his region has opened the spigots to export oil both from the port of Sidra and from another port in Tobruk and is urging Western nations like Britain, France, the U.S., Italy and Germany to buy this oil.

U.S. Ambassador to Libya Deborah Jones tweeted Saturday from a conference on Libya in Istanbul that “purchase of oil within Libya from anyone other than [government] entities amounts to theft from the Libyan people.” Libya's acting oil minister Omar Shakmak called the attempt to export oil from Sidra “an act of piracy.”

You May Like

Nigeria Incumbent in Tight Spot as Poll Nears

Muhammadu Buhari is running a strong challenge to Goodluck Jonathan, amid a faltering economy and Boko Haram security worries More

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

Beatrice Yardolo tells VOA that despite her fame, life is still a struggle as she waits for government's promise of support to arrive More

Video Cambodian Land Grabs Threaten Traditional Communities

At least seven different indigenous groups in Ratanakiri depend mainly on forest products for their survival, say they face loss of their land, traditional way of life More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: meanbill from: USA
March 09, 2014 12:08 PM
MY OPINION? .... The biggest threat to the 6 million Libyan people and their oil and gas is, WHEN will the US and EU countries invade Libya again, for the sole purpose of taking possession of the European and Saudi Oil and Gas company interests..
Libya must nationalize the Libyan oil and gas companies, for their country and people, to finally find peace for their really small population.......... REALLY

by: MUSTAFA from: INDIA
March 08, 2014 10:30 PM
This is the gift of NATO to Libyan Peoples. This is their main aim to create problems,suffering and endless tears to common people in the name of Liberty,freedom and democracy. Now no Western country will come to solve safety and security problems,water,electricity,education,business and so many other problems.Now they will smile with the pain and suffering of common people. West should conduct survery whether common Libyans were happy,secure and hopeful with Guddafi OR they are happy with current Govt with no power and control over day to day issue.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Liberia's Almost Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grievingi
X
Benno Muchler
March 26, 2015 3:41 PM
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 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 US, South Korea Conduct Joint Military Exercises

The Eighth U.S. Army Division and the Eighth Republic of Korea Mechanized Infantry Division put on a well orchestrated show of force for the media this week during their joint military training exercises in South Korea. VOA’s Seoul correspondent Brian Padden was there and reports the soldiers were well disciplined both in conducting a complex live fire exercise and in staying on message with the press.
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.
Video

Video Young Filmmakers Shine Spotlight on Giving Back

A group of student filmmakers from across the United States joined President Barack Obama at the White House this month for the second annual White House Student Film Festival. Fifteen short films were officially selected from more than 1,500 entries by students aged 6 through 18. The filmmakers and their families then joined the president and a group of celebrities for a screening of their films. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
Video

Video VOA Exclusive: Interview with Afghan President Ashraf Ghani

Afghan President Ashraf Ghani, during his first visit as president to Washington, gave a one-on-one interview with VOA Afghan Service reporter Said Suleiman Ashna, about his request for a change in U.S. troop levels, the threat from the Islamic State, and repairing relations with the United States and Pakistan. The interview was held at Blair House, late Sunday, in Pashto.
Video

Video California Science Center Tells Story of Dead Sea Scrolls

The ancient manuscripts were uncovered in the mid-20th century, and they are still yielding clues about life and religious beliefs in ancient Israel. As VOA's Mike O'Sullivan reports, an exhibit in Los Angeles shows how modern science is bringing the history of these ancient documents to life.
Video

Video Angelina Jolie Takes Another Bold Step

Hollywood actress and filmmaker Angelina Jolie has revealed she had her ovaries and fallopian tubes removed to lower her odds of getting cancer. Doctors say the huge publicity over her decision will help raise awareness about the importance of cancer screening. VOA’s George Putic has more

All About America

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