By Jamie Prentis.
Tunis, 27 July 2017:
GECOL engineers were forcibly removed from a power station serving pumping units on the western branch of the Man-Made River (MMR) in Fezzan yesterday when armed robbers broke in.attacked
The theives targetted the station at Jebel Hasauna, 270 kilometres north of Sebha. They were attempting to steal cables and the switchboard system, when engineers discovered them and tried to stop them.
The staff were then threatened with weapons, handcuffed and moved to a nearby well, GECOL said. It is unclear if they were harmed.
The thieves then proceeded to loot the entire station, GECOL added.
Such thefts have occurred often along the Man-Made River and it has not been uncommon for parts of it to close as a res ult.
In January, GECOL announced that thieves had stolen cable not far from the Jebel Hasauna station after a pylon was brought down, a move that resulted in the pumps stopping.
Stopping the water flowing to Tripoli has also been used by groups in the south to try and put political pressure on the authorities in the capital for various reasons
When Anoud Senussi, daughter of Qaddafi’s intelligence chief Abdullah, was seized after she was released from jail in Tripoli in September 2013, members of her Magarha tribe stopped the pumps further north at Shwerif in protest. They had planned to hit the Jebel Hasauna but it was better protected.