Human Rights

Protests in Benghazi due to power cuts and deteriorating standards of living

Dozens of demonstrators gathered in Benghazi to protest against the deteriorating living conditions and power cuts, in rare public demonstrations in the second largest city in Libya. 

Footage spread on social media on Thursday showed large plumes of smoke billowing in the sky after protesters set tires on fire and prevented access to some roads.

Electricity supplies have deteriorated this year, which led to protests last month in Tripoli and worsened living standards amid rising cases of coronavirus.

According to the report, the Libyan National Army accused the Tripoli-based National Oil Corporation of not importing enough fuel to operate the stations.

The National Oil Corporation warned, last month, of worse power outages in eastern Libya, saying that the shortage was a result of the blockade imposed by the Libyan National Army on oil and gas facilities for months.

The corporation added that diesel imports to run the plants were causing “severe financial difficulties”.

At the same time, the National Oil Corporation has appealed to the LNA to end the blockade, which began in January, and to cut production dramatically, leading to an almost complete collapse of energy revenues, the main source of foreign currency in Libya this year.

Protests in Benghazi due to power cuts and deteriorating standards of living

Earlier on Thursday, the European Union said that its naval mission in the Mediterranean “Irene” had stopped a ship heading from the UAE to Benghazi carrying jet fuel on suspicion of violating the arms embargo.

Libya has endured almost a decade of violent chaos since the 2011 NATO-backed uprising that toppled and killed longtime ruler Muammar Gaddafi.

The oil-rich country has been split between governments in the east and west since disputed elections and an escalation in fighting in 2014.

Peacemaking efforts in Libya have accelerated since Haftar’s Tripoli offensive ended in June after being beaten back by the GNA forces, with the front lines solidifying near the central city of Sirte.
Members of the two sides’ rival parliamentary assemblies have been meeting this week in Morocco and said on Thursday they had agreed.

to criteria for appointing senior figures in sovereign institutions, representing a step forward in the talks.

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