News / Middle East

    Officials: Libyan Navy Seizes Tanker at Rebel-Held Port

    A North Korean-flagged tanker is docked at the Es Sider export terminal in Ras Lanuf, Libya, March 8, 2014.
    A North Korean-flagged tanker is docked at the Es Sider export terminal in Ras Lanuf, Libya, March 8, 2014.
    VOA News
    Libyan officials said their forces have intercepted a tanker carrying crude oil that a separatist militia was trying export in defiance of a government ban.
     
    Culture minister and government spokesman Habib al-Ameen said Monday that Libya's navy had "completely secured" the ship.
     
    "The authorities, until this moment, are very clearly in control of the tanker, and the tanker is safe and fully protected by the Libyan naval forces, no one from the other side can come close to it," said al-Ameen.
     
    The tanker had been docked at the militia-controlled eastern port of As-Sidra since Saturday.
     
    Prime Minister Ali Zeidan said Monday the navy was leading the tanker to a western port controlled by the government.
     
    A rebel spokesman denied they had lost control of the ship.
     
    The vessel - Morning Glory - is North Korea-flagged, but it is not clear who actually owns it. Shipping sources say it is a flag of convenience to keep ownership secret.
     
    Also on Monday, Libya's parliament ordered special forces to deploy within a week to "liberate" all rebel-held ports in the country's volatile east.
     
    The head of parliament, Nuri Ali Abu Sahmain, who has quasi-presidential powers, ordered the formation of a force made up of regular soldiers and allied militias to take back the ports, which previously handled a total of more than 700,000 barrels of oil per day.
     
    Militias have controlled Libya's major ports for the last eight months, causing a sharp drop in the country's oil exports.  The output has fallen from about 1.5 million barrels per day to about 250,000 barrels per day.
     
    In New York, the head of the United Nations mission in Libya told the U.N. Security Council there has been a "dramatic" rise in violence in Libya in the past three months. Tarek Mitri said the country is at risk of experiencing "a new trajectory of unprecedented violence."
     
    He said Libya needs support for its democratic transition, and highlighted lingering disagreements over future elections, rebuilding the army and integrating fighters who helped oust former leader Moammar Gadhafi.
     
    Analysts think the Libyan military would likely struggle to overcome rebels, many of whom have combat experience from the 2011 uprising that toppled Gadhafi. The rebels have kept their weapons and now challenge state authority.
     
    The oil dispute is just one facet of the deepening turmoil in the North African OPEC-member nation.
     
    Bringing Libya’s factions and heavily-armed militias together under one flag continues to pose a great challenge. Analysts say the consequences of failure would affect the entire region.

    You May Like

    Video As Refugees Perish, Greek Graveyards Fill

    Before burial at overflowing cemeteries, unidentified dead being swapped for DNA, in case some day relatives come to learn their fate

    Russian Opposition Leader Sues Putin for Conflict of Interest

    Alexei Navalny tells VOA in exclusive interview why transfer of $2 billion from country’s wealth fund to company with ties to President Putin’s son-in-law triggered lawsuit

    Clinton, Sanders Fight for African American Votes

    Some African American lawmakers lining up to support Clinton in face of perceived surge by Sanders in race for Democratic nomination in presidential campaign

    This forum has been closed.
    Comment Sorting
    Comments
         
    by: abdo from: banghazi
    March 10, 2014 8:27 PM
    The reason for the sale of oil . Was the interim government and the Libyan parliament conducting a policy of collective punishment on the east of the country where there are no health or security , or any other services .. where Benghazi and Derna turned into hotbeds of criminality and settling accounts
    In Benghazi fall victims every day and do not see any action from the state or the government
    But when the talk on oil. See them on the screens .. Unfortunately, oil is more precious than the lives of their citizens
    the problem of the system of government practiced by the central authorities, where it was the monopoly of the state in all Mussat Tripoli
    He became Middle Libyan does not do anything , after returning to the central government , about 1000 km from Benghazi
    Rendering the voices calling for the return of federal system of government the Constitution of 1951
    Ironically. The place where the oil comes out of it. Does not enjoy any of this revenue.
    problem that the government has the great corruption and the offerer not take any action about this corruption
    Reaching disbursements in three years more than 150 billion Libyan dinars and did not see anything on the ground
    Libya was complaining of a thief one.
    We are now complaining about the two hundred thief did not feel full yet

    by: ali baba from: new york
    March 10, 2014 12:46 PM
    The united state had made a very poor decision for supporting the rebel in Libya. by getting rid of Gadhafi, The country is in anarchy state The united state has giving arm ,money for rebel who are connected with terrorist organization like Osama bin laden. They kill American ambassador.

    by: musawi melake
    March 10, 2014 7:49 AM
    The entire idea and the expedition to get-rid of Muamar Gadafi was to get a firm hold on that oil reserves!, and now the US feels uneasy when the legitimate owners, a portion of the Lybian poplation, try to sell their own things to those they like, for the price they think is right. It's high time that the Lybians rise against neo-colonial attempts to exploit them!
    In Response

    by: John from: Oslo, Norway
    March 19, 2014 12:28 PM
    If you cared to look at the oil imported from Libya to the US, the amount is extremely small and low in value. If anything, the living conditions in libya has increased because of "Qaddafi" being overthrown. Freedom increased, wages increased, internet access increased (dramatically, idiot). They gained plenty of benefits. And stop living in the west if you hate it so much. Idiot. Legitiment my butt.
    In Response

    by: meanbill from: USA
    March 10, 2014 11:42 AM
    MY OPINION? .... The US and EU and the Saudis staged the protests in Benghazi, and got the UN to give permission for a "No Fly Zone" to protect innocent civilians, as an excuse to kill Qaddafi and his family, because he was going to nationalize the oil companies by the foreigners, who were blatantly stealing Libyan oil and gas...
    REALLY? ... The (6) million Libyans must nationalize their oil and gas companies, to save themselves from being invaded by the US and EU countries again, and PM Ali-Zeidan is a puppet for the western governments, and will let them do it..
    Do they miss Qaddafi now, with all the benefits they had? ...... REALLY
    In Response

    by: Taras Zaitsev from: USA
    March 10, 2014 8:48 AM
    It would be different if the oil was to be used by a sane Country, Not the Rabid Dog in charge of DPRK,
    Shoot out its prop or rudder end of story

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    NATO to Target Migrant Smugglersi
    X
    Jeff Custer
    February 11, 2016 4:35 PM
    NATO has announced plans to send warships to the Aegean Sea to target migrant smugglers in the alliance's most direct intervention so far since a wave of people began trying to reach European shores.
    Video

    Video NATO to Target Migrant Smugglers

    NATO has announced plans to send warships to the Aegean Sea to target migrant smugglers in the alliance's most direct intervention so far since a wave of people began trying to reach European shores.
    Video

    Video Russia's Catholics, Orthodox Hopeful on Historic Pope-Patriarch Meeting

    Russia's Catholic minority has welcomed an historic first meeting Friday in Cuba between the Pope and the Patriarch of Russia's dominant Orthodox Church. The Orthodox Church split with Rome in 1054 and analysts say politics, both church and state, have been driving the relationship in the centuries since. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Moscow.
    Video

    Video Used Books Get a New Life on the Streets of Lagos

    Used booksellers are importing books from abroad and selling them on the streets of Africa's largest city. What‘s popular with readers may surprise you. Chris Stein reports from Lagos.
    Video

    Video After NH Primaries All Eyes on South Carolina

    After Tuesday's primary in New Hampshire, US presidential candidates swiftly turned to the next election coming up in South Carolina. The so-called “first-in-the-South” poll may help further narrow down the field of candidates. Zlatica Hoke reports.
    Video

    Video US Co-ed Selective Service Plan Stirs Controversy

    Young women may soon be required to register with the U.S. Selective Service System, the U.S. government agency charged with implementing a draft in a national emergency. Top Army and Marine Corps commanders told the Senate Armed Services Committee recently that women should register, and a bill has been introduced in Congress requiring eligible women to sign up for the military draft. The issue is stirring some controversy, as VOA’s Bernard Shusman reports from New York.
    Video

    Video Lessons Learned From Ebola Might Help Fight Zika

    Now that the Ebola epidemic has ended in West Africa, Zika has the world's focus. And, as Carol Pearson reports, health experts and governments are applying some of the lessons learned during the Ebola crisis in Africa to fight the Zika virus in Latin America and the Caribbean.
    Video

    Video Smartphone Helps Grow Vegetables

    One day, you may be using your smartphone to grow your vegetables. A Taipei-based company has developed a farm cube — a small, enclosed ecosystem designed to grow plants indoors. The environment inside is automatically adjusted by the cube, but it can also be controlled through an app. VOA's Deborah Block has more on the gardening system.
    Video

    Video Illinois Voters Have Mixed Emotions on Obama’s Return to Springfield

    On the ninth anniversary of the launch of his quest for national office, President Barack Obama returned to Springfield, Illinois, to speak to the Illinois General Assembly, where he once served as state senator. His visit was met with mixed emotions by those with a front-row seat on his journey to the White House. VOA's Kane Farabaugh reports.
    Video

    Video Exhibit Turns da Vinci’s Drawings Into Real Objects

    In addition to being a successful artist, Renaissance genius Leonardo da Vinci designed many practical machines, some of which are still in use today, although in different forms. But a number of his projects were never realized — until today. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Heated Immigration Debate Limits Britain’s Refugee Response

    Compared to many other European states, Britain has agreed to accept a relatively small number of Syrian refugees. Just over a thousand have arrived so far -- and some are being resettled in remote corners of the country. Henry Ridgwell reports on why Britain’s response has lagged behind its neighbors.
    Video

    Video Russia's Car Sales Shrink Overall, But Luxury and Economy Models See Growth

    Car sales in Russia dropped by more than a third in 2015 because of the country's economic woes. But, at the extreme ends of the car market, luxury vehicles and some economy brands are actually experiencing growth. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Moscow.
    Video

    Video Jordanian Theater Group Stages Anti-Terrorism Message

    The lure of the self-styled “Islamic State” has many parents worried about their children who may be susceptible to the organization’s online propaganda. Dozens of Muslim communities in the Middle East are fighting back -- giving young adults alternatives to violence. One group in Jordan is using dramatic expression a send a family message. Mideast Broadcasting Network correspondent Haider Al Abdali shared this report with VOA. It’s narrated by Bronwyn Benito
    Video

    Video Civil Rights Pioneer Remembers Struggle for Voting Rights

    February is Black History Month in the United States. The annual, month-long national observance pays tribute to important people and events that shaped the history of African Americans. VOA's Chris Simkins reports how one man fought against discrimination to help millions of blacks obtain the right to vote
    Video

    Video Helping the Blind 'See' Great Art

    There are 285 million blind and visually impaired people in the world who are unable to enjoy visual art at a museum. One New York photographer is trying to fix this situation by making tangible copies of the world’s masterpieces. VOA correspondent Victoria Kupchinetsky was there as visually impaired people got a feel for great art. Joy Wagner narrates her report.