|North Western Libya: Another busy week in and around Tripoli with the news being dominated by Congress who passed a vote of No Confidence against Prime Minister Ali Zeidan, voting at the same time in favour of the February Committee’s roadmap to hold elections of a new parliament in July. In the meantime Defence Minister Abdullah Al-Thinni has been appointed as caretaker Prime Minister for a period of two weeks while a replacement is found. However, questions have been raised by Congress members and elsewhere over the legality of the vote. Independent Benghazi Congressman Alaeddin Al-Mgariaf stated that Congress had passed the motion removing Zeidan with a margin of just fourteen. It is said to be a vote purely against Zeidan as prime minister, not against the rest of the government. With Zeidan (Liberalist) gone several of his colleagues have allegedly resigned, alongside NFA members who oppose the removal of Zeidan and the failings of the GNC. These positions have been filled largely by the Muslim reconstruction party, which has shifted the power within the GNC even more towards Islamist groups, and strengthened their position. It awaits to be seen if they will produce a successful candidate in the next elections for a new Prime Minister. Even Zeidan himself, now in self-imposed ‘exile’ has taken a strong stance against the GNC and has stated that the role of the Islamists in and outside the group have been hindering his every move to rebuild the nation. This clearly shows the fractured state that Libya has become, and how the majority of the people’s representatives are insular to their own group, instead of re-building for the National interests.
Eastern Libya (Benghazi): Assassinations and attempted killings in Benghazi are continuing with security forces being targeted. Two men, one from the Army the other from the Criminal Investigation Department were shot and killed in separate incidents this week. In another attack a Saiqa member was seriously injured when unknown gunmen fired at him, and an Air Force pilot was placed in critical condition when an explosive device was detonated under his vehicle at the Benghazi medical centre. Most recently on the 17th March a large explosion, was reported by SNE team on the ground in Benghazi, at a military graduation camp which has reportedly killed ten people and injured numerous others. The bomb was placed at the Barracks car park, which is situated on Venezia Street not far from the former US compound. There have also been reports from Tobruk that a nearby tanker is moored with the intention to try and load (illegally) oil from the country’s eastern oil ports. The Morning Glory last week successfully loaded an illegal shipment of oil and escaped a Navy blockade to sail into international waters. However the vessel has since been recovered with the use of U.S. Special Forces of the coast of Cyprus, sanctioned by the Libyan government.
Southern Libya: The Amazigh and Tuareg communities have reacted with scorn to Congress decision last Tuesday to accept the Consensus Principle which they insist, has to be the basis for drawing up the constitution. Congress members have been called, “absurdly manipulative” and the minority groups are feeling increasingly marginalised by the GNC. This will further impact the security for the area and impede oil production. Sharara oil field has again been struck by further strikes, this time by Petroleum Facilities’ Guards (PFG) loyal to Obari’s Supreme Council of Revolutionaries. The previous embargo imposed by Tuareg demonstrators was due to be suspended for two weeks, whilst authorities addressed their demands. However, the oilfield was only open for four days, and following the withdrawal of Tuareg protestors, the PFG forces, resumed the blockade over unpaid salaries.