Libyan militia keeps oil ports closed

Dec. 16, 2013 at 5:37 AM
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TRIPOLI, Libya, Dec. 16 (UPI) -- A Libyan militia seeking greater regional autonomy kept eastern Libya oil ports closed because the militia's demands had not been met, its leader said.

Ibrahim al-Jathram said there was failure "to reach an agreement on the conditions" for greater autonomy, the Wall Street Journal reported Sunday.

Jathram's organization said it wanted an investigation into the way oil revenue is managed, a supervisory council set up to oversee oil exports and recognition of a 1951 constitution that envisions a federal system for Libya.

Groups operating in the east of the country announced in early November they declared independence for the region known as Cyrenaica, which has some of Libya's key oil terminals.

Conflicts in Libya since a civil war ended in 2011 have curtailed the country's oil and natural gas production.

The Journal reported the conflicts have cost Libya about $7 billion in lost oil revenue.

The newspaper reported no comment was available from the central government.

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