ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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A Libyan Diary

The Arteries of Petroleum

Oil-rich Libya, post its "revolution" and the removal of Muammar Gaddafi , fi nds itself besieged by worker strikes and misgovernance. Even as it braces for elections, there are rumblings about the rules that have been set in the west and imported to a country that experienced centralised Gaddafi rule for decades.

Surely, we’ll soon hear
Its unearthly groan.

– Khaled Mattawa.

From 24 April to 9 May of this year, the oil workers of the Arabian Gulf Oil Company (Agoco) were on strike. They occupied the gates outside Agoco’s plant in Benghazi, Libya. Fifty workers and unemployed youth sat around the gate, angry at the new Libya that had promised so much and has yet to deliver anything for them. The oil began to flow during the conflict, but its revenues are not properly accountable. Things are in such bad shape that the Libyan interim finance minister, Hassan Ziglam has often threatened to resign. “I will resign”, he said on 11 May, “I can’t keep working in these circumstances. There is a wastage of public money because nobody fears God.”

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