Protests Erupt in Benghazi over Power Cuts and Fuel Shortage

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On Thursday, the Speaker of the Libyan Parliament, Ageela Saleh, called for an urgent meeting at the Interim Government’s headquarters in Benghazi, against the backdrop of protests erupting in this city due to frequent power outages, severe shortage of fuel and poor living conditions.

Saleh called on the Prime Minister of the Interim Government, the Governor of the Central Bank of Benghazi, the Director of the Brega Petroleum Marketing Company and the heads of the Parliamentary Committees to attend the urgent meeting in order to meet the demands of those protesters who voiced their anger at the complete absence of the state officials.

According to press reports, dozens of Libyans took to streets in the cities of Benghazi and Zliten, due to the deteriorating living conditions and the frequent power cuts.

The reports explained that the demonstrations took place in the Sidi Hussein area and Jamal Abdel Nasser Street in Benghazi.

Interestingly, the protesters voiced their support for the military leadership and the Libyan National Army (LNA), led by Field Marshal Khalifa Haftar, while criticizing some officials and accusing them of corruption.

Various Libyan cities, especially in the western region, have recently witnessed angry demonstrations against the Government of National Accord (GNA)’s corruption, and the lack of services and living conditions.

Last month, Libya’s National Oil Corporation (NOC) said that the closure of oil ports in the Gulf of Sirte was the main reason for the power outages in eastern Libya.

“By closing the ports in the Gulf of Sirte, the condensate reservoirs at the export ports will be filled within days, and thus the production of the gas associated with the condensate, which feeds the power stations of Zueitina and Benghazi North, will come to a halt,” NOC chairman Mustafa Sanalla said.

Sanalla had warned earlier that oil tanks full to the brink at Libya’s oil export terminals are posing a risk to local communities and the facilities themselves.

Meanwhile, Libya’s oil terminals remain out of service and the country is not exporting oil.