Libyan government to take military action to regain control of oil ports

Published March 10th, 2014 - 04:22 GMT
Prime Minister Ali Zeidan seeks to regain control of oil ports seized by Libyan rebels. (AFP/File)
Prime Minister Ali Zeidan seeks to regain control of oil ports seized by Libyan rebels. (AFP/File)

Libya’s parliament orders military operations to liberate militia-held oil ports as insecurity continues to grow across the North African country.

On Monday, Libya’s parliament issued a decree, ordering the military to liberate an oil port from militia groups in the east of the country.

The decree is signed by president of the country’s General National Assembly. The operation is set to begin within a week.

"The military operation to fulfill this task will start within one week," said the decree.

The militia, on the other hand, say they are preparing to defend themselves against any government attack.

"We have sent land forces to defend Cyrenaica to west of Sirte...and we also have boats patrolling the regional waters," said Essam al-Jahani, a member of a militia group leadership team.

Tensions have been high in Libya as the militia groups have been trying to export oil independently.

This comes after the government threatened to bomb a North Korea-flagged ship that is illegally exporting oil from a port in the country’s east.

The Libyan Prime Minister Ali Zeidan said the ship will be targeted if it fails to comply with orders to leave the eastern territorial waters.

Libya has been witnessing numerous clashes between government forces and rival militia groups, who played a key role in the 2011 popular uprising that toppled late Muammar Gaddafi.

The former rebels refuse to lay down arms despite efforts by the central government to impose law and order.

Last October, London-based political commentator Johnny Miller said in an interview with Press TV that Libya was on the verge of becoming a failed state.

"Libya really is close to being a failed state. I mean you have the situation where the government is very, very weak. You have the streets ruled by militias, affiliated with the government, but also acting unilaterally by themselves,” he said.

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