By Ashraf Abdul Wahab.
Tripoli, 13 March 2014:
The General National Congress (GNC) has given federalist forces two weeks to hand over oil . . .[restrict]export terminals in the east before they are taken by force.
GNC head Nuri Abu Sahmain said yesterday that, at the end of the fortnight, military forces from across Libya would unite and move against armed groups operating under the control of Ibrahim Jadran.
The announcement built on decision No. 42 of 2014 made early in the current oil tanker crisis. The decision authorised the setting up of an armed force for the purpose of returning oil ports at Sidra, Ras Lanuf and Zueitina to state control.
Abu Sahmain said the deadline was a final bid to avoid confrontation, and “a means of giving a chance to all parties to make efforts to end the blockade”. He said he had met with Congress members from eastern regions before setting the two-week deadline.
The embargo of oil ports in the east had lasted for eight months, he said, robbing the Libyan people of much-needed oil revenues. He added that this had left the country on the verge of bankruptcy.
Armed groups supporting Ibrahim Jadhran were forced from Sirte’s Ghardabiya airbase and out of the town’s Bu Hadi district two days ago, after being attacked by troops from Misrata.
On Tuesday, there were reports that these Misratan forces, along with units from other regions of the country, were on standby to head east and reclaim the ports. [/restrict]