Tripoli, 28 May 2013:
A Congressional delegation has flown to the giant Elephant oilfield west of Murzuk to negotiate with protestors who . . .[restrict]started blockading it yesterday.
The field, one of the largest in Libya and run by Mellitah Oil, a joint venture between NOC and Italy’s ENI, produces 130,000 barrels of oil a day.
The demonstrators, mainly Tebus, initially announced last week that they would stage a protest at the field, as of Sunday.
They are demanding payment of salaries, which they claim have not been paid since September 2011, the supply of military vehicles, daily expenses to cover food and fuel, and job opportunities for locals in the oil sector. They also want an NOC office to be set up “in the south of the country” although no specific location is mentioned. However, additionally, they are calling for the national headquarters of the oil services defence force to be based either in Murzuk or Obari.
To this list has now been added the demand that the government find out what has happened to Alashei Mahdi, the head of the Sebha-based Tebu militia, the Qatrun Martyrs Brigade, who disappeared from his Tripoli hotel on Sunday.
The delegation is said to comprise Murzak Congressman Taher Makni, himself a Tebu, Zawia Congressman Mohamed Kilani, and Rajbani Congressman Abubakr Abdulgader, head Congress’s local government committee. Also accompanying them are a representative from the office of the Chief of Staff named as Salem Al-Gneidi and Taher Abdurrahman from the oil services defence force. [/restrict]