By Ashraf Abdul Wahab.
Tripoli, 29 November 2013:
A truck carrying urgently-needed medicines for Kufra is reportedly among a growing number of transport . . .[restrict]vehicles caught at a road block put in place by Tebu protestors. Though ambulances and private cars are being allowed through the barrier on the road between Kufra and Tazerbu, all goods vehicles are being stopped.
The concern is that the consignment of medicines may deteriorate unless it is moved quickly to be stored in the appropriate conditions.
The roadblock is also affecting output at the 450 MW Sarir power station, which reportedly relies on a supply of 1.5 million litres of oil daily, brought in by some 35 trucks. Electricity Minister, Ali Muhairiq said yesterday that electricity company GECOL had warned him that if the fuel block continued, the power station would close within 24 hours. It is understood that this evening that Sarir is still functioning.
Some 150 Tebu protestors are manning the road block, which is at a point on the highway where the surrounding ground is too sandy to permit vehicles to drive around and avoid it.
The tribesman have a range of demands including separate councils for the Tebu part of Kufra and for the largely Tebu town of Rebyana, which is currently run by Kufra local council, 150 kilometres away. They also want Rebyana to be connected to the national electricity grid. An offer on Thursday from the prime minister Ali Zeidan of a 1.5MW generator was dismissed angrily by the Tebu protestors as completely inadequate.
They have warned that unless the government acts on their demands, they will escalate their action, which is believed to refer to turning off the pumps on the eastern part of the Manmade River, which draws water from both Kufra and Tazerbu.
(Photo: Muftah Almehdawi) [/restrict]