PROTESTS FLARE IN LIBYA’S BENGHAZI OVER POWER CUTS, LIVING CONDITIONS

Scores of people protested in Benghazi on Thursday over power cuts and living conditions, witnesses said, burning tyres and blocking some roads in an unusual public show of dissent in the eastern Libyan city.

Benghazi is the base of Khalifa Haftar and his Libyan National Army (LNA), which is fighting in a civil war against the internationally recognised Government of National Accord in Tripoli, in the country’s west.

Electricity supply has deteriorated this year, leading to protests last month in Tripoli and adding to poor living standards amid a surge in cases of the novel coronavirus.

The most immediate cause of the worsening power supply is a lack of fuel for electricity plants. The LNA has accused the Tripoli-based National Oil Corp (NOC) of not importing enough fuel to operate the plants.

The NOC last month warned of worse blackouts in eastern Libya, saying the shortage was caused by the LNA’s months-long blockade of oil and gas facilities. It said imports of diesel to operate the plants were causing it “severe financial difficulties.”

The NOC has appealed for the LNA to end the blockade, which began in January and has drastically cut production, leading to a near total eclipse of energy revenue – Libya’s main source of foreign currency – this year.

 

Source: National News Agency

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