25 March 2014

Libya Violence Continues Unabated

Benghazi — Cyrenaica federalists and the Libyan interim government could soon come to an agreement on the use of oil ports.

In a statement issued on Sunday (March 23rd), the Cyrenaica political council said it would allow the Libyan state to export oil under certain conditions.

"The conditions are: forming a committee from the country's three regions to oversee oil sales; opening an investigation into... fraud and theft in oil sales; freezing the work of the General National Congress (GNC) and forming a crisis government headed by an independent figure until parliamentary and presidential elections are held," the statement said.

Other conditions include the creation of a military council to head the chiefs of staff, the establishment of a jurisprudence council from Libya's scholars instead of giving religious authority to one mufti and the replacement of high-ranking officials by independent figures, without party affiliations, it added.

Citizens are more worried about the security situation in their cities than ever.

Engineer Mohamed al-Maghrabi, 43, called on the interim government to "focus on the systematic terrorism in Benghazi and Derna, as represented by political and military assassinations".

In his turn, 38-year-old teacher Faraj Abdel Ali said citizens expected accountability and access to information about some outstanding issues, "including that of displaced Tawerghans".

Other areas of concern, he noted, include "building the army and police, oversight of oil sales, distribution of wealth to all cities, political isolation law, national reconciliation, iron and steel factory revenues and secret prisons".

Banker Amira Ashraf El-Ourfi, 36, said, "Now the game is open. The fighting group, Ansar al-Sharia and the so-called Libya Revolutionaries Operation Room, jihadists in Derna and before them the Muslim Brotherhood, are the cause of terrorism in Libya."

"People reject them because they believe that they're after the assassinations, bombings and destruction in the country, as well as the theft of public money to pay for terrorist groups outside Libya," she added.

Civil society activist Fatima Ali agreed, saying, "Assassinations and kidnappings have affected foreigners in Libya."

"Today, Sunday (March 23rd,) two people from Bangladesh were found dead in Benghazi. Last month, an Indian doctor was found dead in Derna. Last week, an Iraqi professor working at the University of Sirte was also found dead. This is in addition to more than 13 Christian Egyptians who were executed," the 26-year-old told Magharebia.

In related security news, preventive security agency agent Ibrahim Abdallah Boufenara died of his wounds on Friday morning. He was shot by gunmen in Benghazi's al-Hawari area.

One day earlier, two TV station vehicles were blown up when a bag containing explosives was planted at the car park of the tourist village in Gar Younes, northwest of Benghazi. The blast caused material damages, but no casualties.

Meanwhile, unknown assailants placed explosives behind al-Sabri police station building, but the blast didn't cause any human or material losses.

Authorities have started relying on citizens' help to curb the violence.

Special operations forces, in co-operation with citizens, arrested two men who were trying to kidnap a citizen. The wounded man was taken to Benghazi Medical Centre for treatment.

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