By Jamal Adel.
Tripoli, 30 November 2013:
The Tebu protestors who have been demonstrating near the Sarir oil field and power station and . . .[restrict]blocked the road from Kufra to Benghazi have said that they will extend their deadline for a government response to their demands by a week before taking further action, their spokesman Mohammed Altobawey has told the Libya Herald.
The decision followed mediation two days ago by a delegation of local councillors from Jalu, Awjila and Jakharra. They promised a resolution to the dispute “within days”.
However Altobawey says that the main road, which is closed to fuel truckers and heavy traffic, will remain blocked and the protests continue until the demonstrators’ demands are met.
Asked several times today what action the Tebus would take if the government did not do what they wanted, and whether that included closing the pumps on the Man-made River, Altobawey refused to answer.
The Tebus want the small town of Rebyana, west of Kufra, connected to the electricity grid, it to have its own an independent municipal council and the Tebu areas of Kufra to have a sub council separate to the town’s Arab-controlled body running the town.
The government has said that it would take some time to link Rebyana to the national electricity network 150 kilometres away and offered a 1.5 MW generator to power Rebyana as a stop-gap solution. However, the protestors on Wednesday, rejected the offer as inadequate.
Yesterday, the protests and the need to strengthen security measures in and around Kufra were discussed at a top level crisis meeting on security in Benghazi and the south which involved Prime Minister Ali Zeidan, Congress Vice-President Saleh Al-Makhzoum, Deputy Prime Minister and acting Interior Minister Sadiq Abdulrahman, Defence Minister Abdullah Al-Thini, Electricity Minister Ali Muhairiq and Minister for GNC affairs Muaz Fathi Al-Kujah as well as the head of the Intelligence, Salem Hassi, and members of Congressional committee for defence, the GNC, National Security and the Interior. [/restrict]