By Ahmed Elumami.
Tripoli, 10 March 2014:
A military force is to be formed to take on the federalists who have blockaded three . . .[restrict]of the country’s eastern oil export terminals since August last year.
Head of the General National Congress (GNC) and temporary Commander-in-Chief, Nuri Abu Sahmain, issued resolution No. 42 of 2014 today, which will apparently see the process put into action within seven days.
The resolution authorised army units and revolutionary brigades from areas including Tobruk, Benghazi, Sebha, Sirte, Misrata and Tripoli to form a military force designed to bring back the oil export terminals under the control of the state authorities.
The move came after the federalist groups controlling the ports made their first illegal sale of oil. This was loaded onto a North Korean-flagged tanker on Saturday and Sunday at Sidra, although the vessel has not yet been able to leave because vessels under the control of the Navy and revolutionary brigades are blocking it from leaving.
A Congressman, speaking on condition of anonymity, told the Libya Herald that the GNC Defence Committee held a meeting today to determine the tasks, which would include the use of force against the usurpers at the oil export terminals.
The General Chief of Staff, Jadallah Al-Obaidi, has been instructed to assemble and coordinate these forces, the Congressman said. He added that units from the new force would initially be located in Sirte, Ajdabiya and Jufra.
Under Article No.4 of the resolution, the Congressman said, the Prime Ministry and Ministry of Defence would be responsible for putting the operation into action.
Minister of Economy Mustafa Abufunas has estimated that the port closures, which have seen production plummet from over 1 million barrels per day (b/d) to around 300,000 (b/d), have caused financial losses in excess of $10 billion. [/restrict]