By Adam Ali.
Benghazi, 25 November 2014:
As the Libyan National Army continues its . . .[restrict]drive to take control of Benghazi, the city has become a virtual ghost town and residents are suffering from a scarcity of supplies.
Medicine, food and other commodities are increasingly hard to find. The deteriorating security situation has made it difficult for stores to obtain new supplies and keep shelves stocked. It has also made it a challenge for residents to get to the stores—many areas have been cordoned off completely and people do not feel safe venturing out.
It also seems that greed on the part of merchants is also exacerbating matters. Residents report that shop owners are taking advantage of the situation by raising prices.
There is also a shortage of cooking gas. It seems there is now only one location still selling gas, with customers having to queue for hours.
One resident told the Libya Herald that the situation was also aggravated by the problem of accessing salaries or money in banks. Most of the banks in the city are closed. He said that he has to go every week to Beida or Tobruk to receive his salary, having to put up with many checkpoints along the road.
With the current curfew in the city and the many roadblocks, there are traffic jams on the roads when residents are allowed to drive because everyone is out at the same time, trying to shop and take care of business before the curfew. After sunset, when people have returned home, they report that there is an eerie quiet—no sounds of normal life. The only sound that break the silence is gunfire. [/restrict]