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This site is the inspiration of a former reporter/photographer for one of New England's largest daily newspapers and for various magazines. The intent is to direct readers to interesting political articles, and we urge you to visit the source sites. Any comments may be noted on site or directed to KarisChaf at gmail.

Monday, October 28, 2013

Former Libyan Rebel Commander Tests Tripoli -- Anarchy abounds in post-war Libya -- By Ulf Laessing and Ghaith Shennib, Reuters, The Washington Free Beacon

BREGA, Libya (Reuters) – For Libyan militia leader Ibrahim al-Jathran, shutting down half the country’s oil production with an armed militia is not a crime, it is the start of a just battle for a fair share of country’s petroleum wealth.

From his base near the Mediterranean oil terminal of Brega, the 33-year-old war hero from the uprising against Muammar Gaddafi has taken control of the main oil ports to demand more autonomy and oil for his eastern region from faraway Tripoli.

He commands several thousand fighters from his white single-story building, the former headquarters of Libya’s petroleum protection force, which he seized with his men when he defected from the unit in July.

His air-conditioned office is crammed with aides and his men patrol the large compound. A Toyota pickup truck mounted with anti-aircraft guns is parked at the front gate. His militia also mans the gates at Brega and other ports along the coast.

The rise of Jathran as a self-styled regional leader reflects the anarchy of postwar Libya, where Prime Minister Ali Zeidan is struggling to control a country bristling with armed tribes, militias, and radical Islamists.

But the standoff over the oil ports shows the limited power the central government has to curb former fighters who chased out Gaddafi and now believe they deserve to be the beneficiaries of the uprising two years ago.

“Oil exports are supposed to benefit the Libyan people but the opposite is true,” Jathran said in an interview in Ajdabiyah, his home town near the Mediterranean coast.

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