Libyan armed faction leader told to pullout from two oil terminals

The NOC said in a statement that storage tank 12 in Ras Lanuf had been significantly damaged. (REUTERS)
Updated 17 June 2018
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Libyan armed faction leader told to pullout from two oil terminals

  • Haftar’s Libyan National Army (LNA) allowed the NOC to reopen the ports after a long blockade by Jadhran
  • Jadhran has kept a low profile since 2016, but appeared in a video on social media, saying he had formed a coalition to take over the oil sites

BENGHAZI: Libya’s National Oil Corporation (NOC) called on Saturday for the “unconditional and immediate” withdrawal of the armed faction under former oil port blockader Ibrahim Jadhran from the two major terminals of Ras Lanuf and Es Sider.
The NOC said in a statement that storage tank 12 in Ras Lanuf had been “significantly damaged” in fighting on Thursday, when armed forces linked to Jadhran stormed the two ports, causing them to close.
“NOC calls for the unconditional and immediate withdrawal of the militia operating under Ibrahim Jathran to prevent an environmental disaster and further destruction of key infrastructure,” the statement said.
“Further damage to these sites could have a huge impact on the Libyan oil sector and the national economy.”
Rival political authorities and militias have been vying for control of territory and Libya’s oil wealth since the 2011 uprising that ousted and killed President Muammar Qaddafi.
Haftar’s forces on Friday launched airstrikes against the rival militia targeting key oil facilities in the east of the country, a spokesman for his group said.
Jadhran had controlled terminals in Libya’s oil crescent for several years before losing control of them in September 2016 to forces under Khalifa Haftar, the dominant figure in eastern Libya.
Haftar’s Libyan National Army (LNA) allowed the NOC to reopen the ports after a long blockade by Jadhran that cost Libya tens of billions of dollars in lost exports.
Jadhran has kept a low profile since 2016, but appeared in a video on social media on Thursday, saying he had formed a coalition to take over the oil sites.
He said he was launching a campaign to recapture the ports in order to “overturn the injustice” that he said had been imposed on people in the area by the LNA over the past two years.
The NOC declared force majeure in Ras Lanuf and Es Sider, announcing an initial production loss of 240,000 barrels per day (bpd), which it said was expected to rise to 400,000 bpd if the ports stayed shut.
It said it had evacuated staff “due to armed clashes in the area.”


Sudan’s military council, opposition coalition agree political accord

Updated 58 min 12 sec ago
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Sudan’s military council, opposition coalition agree political accord

  • The constitutional declaration is expected to be signed on Friday
  • The deal aims to help the political transition in Sudan

KHARTOUM: Sudan’s ruling military council and an opposition alliance signed a political accord on Wednesday as part of a power-sharing deal aimed at leading the country to democracy following three decades of autocratic rule.

The agreement, which ended days of speculation about whether a deal announced earlier this month would hold, was initialed in Khartoum in the presence of African mediators following a night of talks to iron out some details of the agreement.

Sudan’s stability is crucial for the security of a volatile region stretching from the Horn of Africa to Libya that is riven by conflict and power struggles.

The deal is meant to pave the way to a political transition after military leaders ousted former President Omar Al-Bashir in April following weeks of protests against his rule.

At least 128 people were killed during a crackdown that began when security forces dispersed a protest camp outside the Defense Ministry in central Khartoum in June, according to medics linked to the opposition. The Health Ministry had put the death toll at 61.

A political standoff between Sudan’s military rulers and protesters threatened to drag the country of 40 million toward further violence before African mediators managed to bridge the gap between the two sides.

General Mohamed Hamdan Dagalo, the deputy head of Sudan’s Transitional Military Council, hailed the agreement as the start of a new partnership between the armed forces, including the paramilitary forces he leads, and the opposition coalition of Forces of Freedom and Change (FFC).

Ibrahim Al-Amin, an FFC leader, said the accord signaled a new era of self-reliance for Sudan’s people.

“We want a stable homeland, because we have suffered a great deal,” Amin said in a speech after the ceremony.

Ethiopian mediator Mahmud Dirir said Sudan, long under international isolation over the policies of Bashir’s Islamist administration, needed to overcome poverty and called for the country to be taken of a US list of states that support terrorism.

The sides are still working on a constitutional declaration, which is expected to be signed on Friday.

Power-sharing deal

Under the power-sharing deal reached earlier this month, the two sides agreed to share power in a sovereign council during a transitional period of just over three years.

They also agreed to form an independent government of technocrats to run the country and to launch a transparent, independent investigation into the violence.

The power-sharing agreement reached earlier this month called for a sovereign council comprised of 11 members — five officers selected by the military council, five civilians chosen by the FFC and another civilian to be agreed upon by both sides.

The constitutional declaration will now decide the duties and responsibilities of the sovereign council.

The military was to head the council during the first 21 months of the transitional period while a civilian would head the council during the remaining 18 months.

But the agreement was thrown into doubt when new disputes surfaced last week over the military council’s demand for immunity for council members against prosecution.

The military council also demanded that the sovereign council would retain ultimate decision-making powers rather than the government.