19. März 2014 · Kommentare deaktiviert für Libyen: US-‘Navy SEALs behaved like pirates’ · Kategorien: Libyen · Tags: ,

„‘Navy SEALs behaved like pirates’

By Ulf Laessing and Ayman al-Warfalli

The US Navy guided-missile destroyer USS Roosevelt transits the Strait of Gibraltar. US Navy SEALs operating from the USS Roosevelt have seized a tanker that fled with a cargo of oil from a Libyan port, the US Department of Defence said on March 17, 2014, halting an attempt by rebels to sell petroleum on the global market. Picture: Lieutenant Juan David Guerra, US Navy

Tripoli/Benghazi – A Libyan rebel leader accused the United States on Tuesday of behaving like pirates after US naval forces seized an oil-laden tanker that had sailed from a rebel-held port in the east of the chaotic North African state.

Ibrahim Jathran’s defiant speech dampened hopes of a quick peaceful settlement with Libya’s central government to end a blockage of three oil ports his men took over in summer to press for eastern autonomy and a greater share of oil revenues.

The conflict reflects wider chaos in Libya where the government has been struggling to rein in militias that helped overthrow dictator Muammar Gaddafi in 2011 but kept their guns to become powerful political players.

On Sunday, US forces stormed a tanker that had made it as far as the eastern Mediterranean off Cyprus after loading crude at the Es Sider port, one of three Jathran’s men have occupied, and eluding Libyan government forces off-shore. The ship is now on its way back to a government-controlled port.

The Tripoli government has given Jathran’s group two weeks to clear the ports or face a military offensive to end the port blockage, which has crippled the Opec country’s finances.

But in a speech broadcast by a rebel television station, Jathran did not mention a government offer to hold new talks and said his group would continue its struggle.

“We will continue our fight for our right to dream of a better tomorrow for our children and families,” said Jathran, calling for the United Nations and Arab League to intervene to help the people of eastern Libya.

“We urge the United States government to refrain from siding with the extremists currently holding power in Tripoli,” he said, describing the US navy operation as “piracy”.

“We call on the US authorities to guarantee the safety of our sons on board and of the entire crew, and to ensure that the tanker is promptly returned to us,” he said, confirming that his men had boarded the ship after loading oil.

Jathran, based in Ajdabiya in eastern Libya, defended his repeated attempts to bypass Tripoli in selling oil. “We declare and confirm that, indeed, the majority of Libyan tribes have agreed to the necessity of taking hold of our resources for the benefit of the people,” Jathran said.

While Jathran’s oil sale proved unsuccessful this time, the episode led to the dismissal of Libyan Prime Minister Ali Zeidan, who fled to Europe last week. […]“

via ‘Navy SEALs behaved like pirates’ – Africa | IOL News | IOL.co.za

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