By Seraj Essul.
Tripoli, 10 June 2014:
In what appears increasingly to be a repeat of the petrol problems of late last year, . . .[restrict]Tripoli garages are closing down, not because they have run out of fuel, but because they fear violence from customers.
A man was killed yesterday in a fight over petrol at filling station in Al-Jamhoria, an executive of Rahilla, the fuel distribution company told the Libya Herald. He said that there was enough fuel in the stations but the lack of security was forcing managers to close down.
Traffic in the capital has been noticeably light today, as motorists appear anxious to conserve what fuel thy have. Panic buying in the last few days has led to shortages elsewhere in the country. Yesterday there was reportedly no fuel to be had in Bani Walid.
Some angry customers have taken to vandalising garages that are closed. The pump hoses on a forecourt at Gargaresh have been cut and the filling station forced to close. Petrol company Brega marketing yesterday insisted that there was plenty of fuel and no reason for panic buying. The continuing queues today indicate that few drivers believe this.
Figures were issued by Brega today showing that almost three million litres of fuel was supplied yesterday from the Tripoli depot to four distribution companies. Sharara had taken 870,000 litres, Libya Oil 840,000, Rahilla 610,000 and Road Services 450,000.
The disruption on forecourts and in the streets around garages is also hindering the resupply of fuel by distribution companies said the Rahilla executive. Delivery drivers are being threatened and loads imperilled. “If we don’t get security we will stop supplies ” he said.
Mansour Ghaith, the manager at Khala said: “We opened today at about six in the morning but we had to close the station because there was not security”.
Last year, the sometimes deadly confrontations between drivers and garage managers were only defused when police and security forces were deployed to filling stations selected by the government. There was no sign this evening that such protection was once again being organised. [/restrict]