Saturday 21 April 2018

Fuel shortage in Libya capital after fighters close pipeline

Fuel shortage in Libya capital after fighters close pipeline
(AFP 09/20/17)

Libyans queued in long lines outside petrol stations in the capital Tripoli on Tuesday after fighters forced the closure of a fuel pipeline to the city.

On Monday, "an armed militia trespassed (at) Zawiya Oil Storage Depot and forced the workers (in) the control room to stop pumping the fuel to Tripoli," Libya's oil company said in a statement in English.

The National Oil Corporation said it changed the route of "fuel vessels heading to Zawiya port to discharge in Tripoli port", though warehouses in Tripoli were still at good levels.

But on Tuesday in the capital, 50 kilometres (30 miles) to the east of Zawiya, several petrol stations were closed while long queues formed outside others.

Fuel supply to the capital and its suburbs is regularly interrupted by militia or striking employees.

The "National Oil Corporation will take all the necessary legal actions unless the line is opened immediately and unconditionally," it said.

Libya descended into chaos after the 2011 uprising that toppled and killed dictator Moamer al-Kadhafi, with rival governments and militias vying for control of the oil-rich country.

Living conditions have deteriorated in the capital, where residents have faced power cuts, fuel shortages, dizzying price hikes, and a cash crunch.

A UN-backed unity government has failed to improve the situation or assert its authority across the country.

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