By Ajnadin Mustafa.
Tripoli, 5 November 2015:
The coastal road past Khoms was reported last night to be open again after 36 hours . . .[restrict]of clashes between local forces and militias from Misrata.
Khoms sources have claimed that a Misratan militia headed by Safwan Goneidi had obstructed a shipment of copper arriving at the docks. The militia, it was said, had been occupying a position in the port.
The dispute, which apparently began on Tuesday, reportedly escalated when the Misratan force failed to honour an agreement to release to copper. Locals blocked the Tripoli-Misrata road, an essential link for Misratan militias operating in the capital.
Sources in Khoms claimed that Goneidi’s militia was besieged at the port but later agreed to quit the town. There were fears however that the withdrawal was only temporary and that the Misratans would seek to return with reinforcements.
However, the confrontation does not fit in with the long-standing deal that appears to have existed between Khoms and Misrata. A leading shipping Khoms shipping agent this summer told the Libya Herald that Misrata had accepted that Khoms and its busy harbour, the only non-unionised port in Libya, could function freely in return for leaving the flow of traffic along the Misrata-Tripoli coastal road uninterrupted. [/restrict]