Sunday, July 6, 2014

Libya Updates ( July 6 , 2014 ) Political , security , business items of note !

Libya Herald....

Sawan demands government state position on Hafter and Operation Dignity

By Libya Herald staff.
Mohamed Sawan
Mohamed Sawan
Tripoli, 5 July 2014:
Mohamed Sawan, the leader of the Justice and Construction Party, has said that the government must make clear where its stands on Operation Dignity, being conducted by forces in Benghazi under the control of General Khalifa Hafter.
On Thursday evening, following a meeting with party leaders, Sarwan issued a statement condemning what he described as the government’s silence on the operation.
“It has to make it clear where it stands in relation to Operation Dignity,” Husam Al-Naili, the party’s head of media, told the Libya Herald.  “There has been nothing clear-cut from it about Hafter forces. We’ve said all the time that the war against terrorism has to be under the government’s control.”
His party, he said was looking to create a law on action against terrorism and was planning to meet with other parties and groups to discus it.
Sawan’s demand came immediately after Thursday’s handover of Sidra and Ras Lanuf oil terminals which was the result of April’s agreement between the government and Ibrahim Jadhran. There are suggestions in Tripoli that although the government has condemned the retired general and his action in Benghazi on several occasions, seeing him as a threat to its legitimacy, it may do a similar deal with him, thereby legitimising the campaign against Ansar Al-Sharia, which it has condemned as a terrorist organisation.

56 Benghazi residents currently held by kidnappers: Saiqa

By Noora Ibrahim and Aymen Amzein
Benghazi, 5 July 2014:
Fifty-six individuals including military personnel, members of the security forces and civilians are currently being held following kidnappings in Benghazi.
The figure of 56 is a significant increase on the 43 reported by Saiqa Special Forces one week ago.
The new figure includes a woman and five girls of between 16 and 17 years of age.
Head of Saiqa Special Forces Investigations Unit Fadel Al-Hassi told the Libya Herald that of those kidnapped eight were members of Saiqa, four were policemen and two members of the intelligence services. Additionally 39 civilians have been abducted, including two Egyptians and a Palestinian.
Fassi added that security officials were doing all within their power to discover the whereabouts of those of the victims but that Saiqa and its partners faced an uphill struggle given the city’s security situation.

News Day.....

Libya to announce elections results on July 20

Election officials work in the operations rooms of the High National Elections Commission after elections yesterday in Tripoli
Credit: © Ismail Zetouni / Reuters/Reuters
TRIPOLI (Reuters) - Libya will announce results of last month's parliamentary elections on July 20, the head of the elections commission said on Sunday, pushing back the results another week.

Fewer than half of registered Libyans voted, reflecting disillusionment with the chaos prevailing since Gaddafi's overthrow. The government and outgoing parliament have failed to produce security and curb militias who helped oust Gaddafi but now defy state authority.
The North African oil producer elected on June 25 a new assembly in a vote marred by a low turnout and violence, opening a new chapter in Libya's bumpy transition toward democracy since the 2011 fall of Muammar Gaddafi to an armed uprising.

Emad Sayeh, head of the High National Election Commission, said final results would be announced on July 20. Partial results from some cities have been published but Sayeh said the commission needed more time to produce accurate results.

Results from 24 polling stations are being withheld because of some "illegal acts", he said, adding that out of 1,751 candidates 41 had been disqualified under a law banning former officials in the Gaddafi regime from taking a public office.

Sayeh also said the commission was still waiting for the old assembly to organize a new vote in constituencies where polling stations remained closed on election day due for security reasons.


UPDATE 2-Libya to restart oil exports from major eastern ports

Sun Jul 6, 2014 2:50pm GMT
[-Text [+]
(Adds force majeure lifted)
By Feras Bosalum and Ulf Laessing
TRIPOLI, July 6 (Reuters) - Libya plans to resume exports from the major eastern Ras Lanuf and Es Sider oil ports after government forces took over the terminals following the end of an almost year-long blockage by a rebel group, officials said on Sunday.
State-run National Oil Corp (NOC) lifted force majeure from the two ports after the rebels agreed last week to end a blockade to press financial and political demands. The waiver of contractual obligations had been imposed last summer when a wave of protests at oil facilities broke out.
The port reopening would restore part of oil output fallen to a trickle of the 1.4 million barrels a day the OPEC member used to pump last summer when a wave of protests started.
Libya's current output is running at 325,000, the spokesman said. Experts say it will be easy to sell oil from port storages but take some time to restart production as the connecting fields and pipelines are likely to require maintenance work after standing idle for eleven months. Both ports used to export around 500,000 bpd before the closure.
"Force majeure has been lifted at 1500," said Mohamed El Harari, a spokesman for NOC. The state oil firm had declared force majeure, a waiver of contractual obligations, when the rebels seized the ports last year.
"The marketing department has been instructed to start exporting oil from all Libyan oil ports," he said.
Ali Al-Ahrash, commander of the state Petroleum Facilities Guards (PFG) in charge of protecting oil facilities, said the ports were now fully under government control.
"The situation at the two ports is safe and the National Oil Corp can resume work at Rasp Lanuf and Es Sider," he told Reuters.
Disputes over Libya's vast oil resources have been among the many triggers for conflict between rival brigades of former rebels and allied political factions since civil war ended four decades of Muammar Gaddafi one-man rule in 2011.
Port rebel leader Ibrahim Jathran had agreed in April to reopen two smaller eastern ports, Zueitina and Hariga, and then gradually free up Es Sider and Ras Lanuf.
After that deal, shipments from Zueitina were delayed because of damage from the blockade, while Hariga has seen only a few tanker loadings, hampered by a separate protest temporarily closing the port again.
The problems at Hariga show the vulnerability of oil facilities as militias, tribesmen and state security forces seize facilities at will to press Tripoli into financial or political demands. (Reporting by Feras Bosalum; Writing by Ulf Laessing; Editing by William Hardy and Louise Heavens)