Militias dismantle power plant as U.N. expresses grave concern on Libya
Local militias throughout Libya have been fighting with Tripoli for power and control since Gaddafi's oust in 2011 (File Archive/AFP)
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At least 100 rockets were fired at a Libyan power plant Tuesday as U.N. officials expressed grave concern over the deteriorating situation in Libya, according to Reuters Tuesday.
Electricity Minister Ali Mohammad Muhairiq told reporters that government-payrolled militants fired over 100 rockets at a power station in Sarir located in the country's southern region, which may lead to nationwide blackouts this summer as a result.
"This is the chaos Libya lives in. The plant was hit by dozens of rockets, by 120 rockets. I don't know whether we will be able to repair it before summer and (the fasting month of) Ramadan,"Muhairiq told the media.
Electricity consumption tends to increase dramatically during Libya's summer months, and particularly during Ramadan, when the demand for air conditioning increases.
The militants, who were "co-opted" by the government to work for the defense and interior ministries in Tripoli's effort to curb local militia clashes and restore the strength and power of central government leadership has been a disaster, with fighters now clashing along ministry affiliation lines and continuing to report to local commanders.
Muhairiq told reporters that militias working for the defense ministry were fighting for days with militias working for the interior ministry near the power plant in Sarir before it was targeted Tuesday.
Tripoli does not have the funds to finance the repairs which are estimated to be around $240 million in damages.
Clashes elsewhere in the country have damaged other power stations as well as oil facilities and hospitals, particularly in Libya's second-largest city of Benghazi.
As clashes continue to escalate throughout the country, the U.N. mission to Libya (UNSMIL) expressed "deep concern" Tuesday over the "near-daily violence plaguing the North African country."
“UNSMIL expresses its deep concern about the continued violence - including assassinations, bombings, kidnappings and attacks in the east and other Libyan areas. UNSMIL calls upon officials and all forces to do their utmost to put an end to all acts which threaten stability in Libya, put the security of its people at risk, violate human dignity and undermine the values that Libyans uphold as they aspire to build a state based on the rule of law and the respect for human rights,” the mission announced in a statement.
The UNSMIL statement comes only a day after seven Egyptian Christians were found dead in Benghazi and hours after a grenade struck the Tunisian consulate in Libya's second-largest city.
Libya has been deteriorating into chaos since the oust of former dictator Moammar Gaddafi in 2011 as local militias battle each other and Tripoli for control and power throughout the country.
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