Tribe of slain Libya rebel commander protests at eastern oil port

Head of the rebel forces Abdel Fattah Younes gestures as he arrives at Green Square in the Kish, Benghazi July 6, 2011, to demonstrate against Muammar Gaddafi and his regime. (Reuters)
Updated 18 October 2018
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Tribe of slain Libya rebel commander protests at eastern oil port

  • It was not clear whether oil exports had been affected from the port located in Tobruk
  • A spokesman for port operator AGOCO, part of state oil firm NOC, declined to comment

BENGHAZI: Libyan tribesmen staged a demonstration at the eastern oil port of Hariga on Thursday in protest against the appointment of a government minister, a leading member of the tribe said.
It was not clear whether oil exports had been affected from the port, located in Tobruk near the Egyptian border.
A spokesman for port operator AGOCO, part of state oil firm NOC, declined to comment.
“We are at the port’s gate. No car can enter or leave the port,” a member of the powerful Obeidat tribe told Reuters, asking not to be identified.
He said tribesmen were protesting against a decision by the internationally-recognized government in Tripoli to appoint Ali Essawi as economy minister.
Hariga lies in eastern Libya, run by a rival administration.
Libyan prosecutors had in 2011 named Essawi as the main suspect of the killing of Abdel-Fatah Younes, a former top rebel commander during the uprising against Muammar Qaddafi in 2011.
Younes belongs to the Obeidat tribe.
A Libyan court in 2012 had dropped the case against Essawi and other suspects. But he re-emerged into the spotlight when Tripoli-based Prime Minister Fayez appointed him as economy minister this month.
Khalifa Haftar, a top commander whose troops control the east, this week ordered a new investigation into the killing of Younes. His killing had caused deep rifts in the rebel camp which later took over the oil producing country.
Younes was for years part of Qaddafi’s inner circle.
He defected at the start of the uprising in February 2011 and became the military chief of the rebellion, a move opposed by other rebels who had suffered under the old regime.
The circumstances of his killing remain murky, but it is known that he was slain in July 2011 after rebel leaders summoned him back from the front line to Benghazi, the eastern city and cradle of the uprising.


Sudan protesters plan march on parliament, more demos

Updated 19 January 2019
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Sudan protesters plan march on parliament, more demos

KHARTOUM: A group that is spearheading anti-government protests across Sudan on Saturday said it plans to launch more nationwide rallies over the next few days, including a march on parliament.
Protests have rocked Sudan since December 19, when the government raised the price of bread, and since then have escalated into rallies against President Omar Al-Bashir’s three-decade rule.
The Sudanese Professionals Association, an umbrella group of trade unions, in a statement called for a march on parliament Sunday to submit to lawmakers a memorandum calling for Bashir to step aside.
“We are calling for a march to parliament in Omdurman on Sunday,” it said referring to Khartoum’s twin city where parliament is located.
“The protesters will submit to parliament a memorandum calling on President Bashir to step down,” added the association, which represents the unions of doctors, teachers and engineers.
Over the past month, protesters have staged several demonstrations in Omdurman, on the west bank of the Nile.
Officials say at least 26 people, including two security personnel, have died during a month of protests, while rights group Amnesty International last week put the death toll at more than 40.
The group spearheading the protests said there will also be rallies in Khartoum on Sunday, to be followed by night-time demonstrations on Tuesday in the capital and in Omdurman.
“And on Thursday there will be rallies across all towns and cities of Sudan,” the statement added.
On Friday, hundreds of mourners leaving the funeral of a protester had staged a spontaneous demonstration in the capital’s Burri district, while crowds of Muslim worshippers had launched another rally in a mosque in Omdurman, witnesses said.
Protesters chanting “freedom, peace, justice” have been confronted by riot police with tear gas at several rallies since the first protest erupted in the eastern town of Atbara on December 19 after the rise of bread price.
The government’s tough response has sparked international criticism, while Bashir has blamed the violence on unidentified “conspirators.”
Analysts say the protests have emerged as the biggest challenge to the veteran leader’s rule who swept to power in 1989 in an Islamist-backed coup.
The protests come as Sudan suffers from an economic crisis driven by an acute shortage of foreign currency and soaring inflation that has more than doubled the price of food and medicines.