Libyan separatists set up Cyrenaica oil company

At Hariga terminal beset by strikes; federalists in control

11 November, 18:56

    (ANSAmed) - TRIPOLI, NOVEMBER 11 - After the formation of an autonomous government two weeks ago, the Cyrenaica political bureau has announced the creation of a regional oil company. The announcement was made by Abd Rabbo Al-Barassi, the PM of the newly established government of Barqa - the Arabic name for the eastern region of Libya - Sunday at a press conference. The new oil company is headquartered in Tobruk, where the Hariga terminal is located. The Hariga terminal has been blockaded for months, along with other ports and major extraction sites in the eastern part of the country, by strikes staged by security guards and workers who accuse the government of corruption in oil sales. They are also demanding a pay rise. Authorities instead say that the strikes are being orchestrated by federalists calling for greater independence of the eastern region. The protests are led by a former revolutionary and current head of the security guards of the largest oil terminals in the eastern section of the country, Ibrahim Jadran, who was recently named head of the Cyrenaica Political Bureau. The authorities have repeatedly but unsuccessfully sought a negotiated solution. Both Prime Minister Ali Zeidan and Oil Minister Abdel Bari Al-Arousi have visited the eastern terminals and oil fields to negotiate reopening the sites but in vain.

    Zeidan has also announced a 67% pay rise for oil sector workers.

    On Sunday, the government set down an ultimatum, saying that those on strike have 10 days to reopen the ports. Should they fail to do so, all 'necessary measures' will be taken: what sort of intervention is planned has not been disclosed.(ANSAmed).

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