By Callum Paton.
Tripoli, 12 April 2014:
Protestors demonstrating against the government and the General National Congress (GNC) have blockaded Zawia oil terminal . . .[restrict]preventing workers from unloading tankers waiting in the port.
A government statement issued yesterday called on the people of Zawia to put an end to the blockade and “defend the country’s strategic facilities”. It said that while authorities respected citizens’ right to voice their grievances it would not allow Libyan towns to be held hostage while vessels were waiting to unload petrol for domestic use.
A number of Tripoli petrol stations closed today with long queues at those which remained opened, sparking fears of an impending fuel shortage.
Spokesman for the National Oil Corporation (NOC) Mohammed Al-Harrari told the Libya Herald that the terminal was closed today but declined to comment further on the matter.
The blockade comes days after the Petroleum Facilities’ Guard moved in to take control of the eastern oil terminal of Hariga and less than a week after an agreement between the government and Cyrenaica federalists led by Ibrahim Jadhran to relinquish Hariga along with Zueitina after an eight-month blockade.
Harrari said he expected the NOC to lift its declaration of force majeure on Zueitina, as it has done already with Hariga, in the coming days, once it had been given the green-light by the government.