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.”


Kosovan women returned from Syria face house arrest

Updated 35 min 45 sec ago
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Kosovan women returned from Syria face house arrest

  • Four alleged militants, all men, were arrested the moment they were brought to the country
  • The state prosecution said all 32 repatriated women are under investigation

PRISTINA: Kosovo prosecutors have requested the house arrest of 16 women repatriated from Syria, saying they are suspected of joining or taking part as foreign fighters there.

The women appeared on Wednesday in court in Pristina, a day after 10 other women were put under house arrest. None have been charged with a crime.

Four alleged militants, all men, were arrested the moment they were brought to the country.

The women and children were sent to the Foreign Detention Centre in the outskirts of Pristina but were freed to go home after 72 hours.

Ten women were seen entering Pristina Basic Court in a police escort on Tuesday. The court said in a statement later that they had been placed under house arrest on charges of joining foreign armed groups and terrorist groups in Syria and Iraq from 2014 to 2019.

The state prosecution said all 32 repatriated women are under investigation and more of them are expected to appear in front of judges on Wednesday. The prosecution has yet to file charges.

After the collapse of Islamic State’s self-declared caliphate in Syria and Iraq, countries around the world are wrestling with how to handle militants and their families seeking to return to their home countries.

Kosovo's population is nominally 90 percent Muslim, but the country is largely secular in outlook. More than 300 of its citizens travelled to Syria since 2012 and 70 men who fought alongside militant groups were killed.

Police said 30 Kosovan fighters, 49 women and eight children remain in the conflict zones. The government said it plans to bring back those who are still there.

International and local security agencies have previously warned of the risk posed by returning fighters. In 2015, Kosovo adopted a law making fighting in foreign conflicts punishable by up to 15 years in prison.

On Saturday, 110 Kosovar citizens — the four alleged foreign fighters, 32 women and 74 children — were returned to Kosovo with assistance from the United States, the first such move for a European country.

Authorities say there are still 87 Kosovar citizens in Syria.