By Sami Zaptia
Tripoli, 4 February 2014:
Speaking at yesterday’s regular press conference usually held after ordinary weekly cabinet meetings, Prime . . .[restrict]Minister Ali Zeidan revealed that he had given an order to his Defence Minister to instruct the Chiefs of Staff to use force against the oil blockaders at Libya’s eastern oil terminals over five weeks ago.
Zeidan added that the order is still valid with the Chiefs of Staff and that the Chiefs of Staff should implement this order from the government. Zeidan did not give the exact date when he had given the order, however, five weeks ago would make the date somewhere in the last week of December.
The Prime Minister admitted that his government had received numerous communications from the group blockading the oil terminals, however, he stressed that he did not communicate with them directly as he does not recognize them.
Nevertheless, Zeidan stressed that his government was still prepared to reach an agreement and find a solution. He explained that he was still prepared to pay the Petroleum Facilities Guards (PFG) their stopped wages “despite what they did”, he added.
This was, he stressed, on the basis that they left their positions immediately without any conditions.
It will be recalled that the self-styled head of the Political Bureau of Cyrenaica and former head of the Petroleum Facilities Guards in eastern Libya, Ibrahim Jadran turned on the Libyan state in the summer of 2013, blockading its major oil terminals and reducing oil exports to about 20% of their usual quantity. [/restrict]