Pro-Haftar forces say will maintain Libya oil blockade Jul 13, 2020 0 384 12345 AFPTripoliA blockade of Libya’s oil production will continue, forces loyal to strongman Khalifa Haftar have warned, despite the country’s National Oil Corporation announcing this week the resumption of production.Libya, which sits atop Africa’s largest proven crude oil reserves, is torn between the rival powers of the UN-recognised Government of National Accord (GNA) in Tripoli and eastern-based Haftar.Since January, groups loyal to Haftar have been blocking the production and export of oil from the country’s most important fields and terminals, claiming they want a fair distribution of the oil revenues managed by Tripoli.“The closure of ports and oil fields will be maintained until the demands of the Libyan people are satisfied,” said a statement published late Saturday on Facebook by pro-Haftar forces spokesman Ahmad al-Mismari.“Only one oil tanker” is authorised to load “a quantity of stored oil”, as agreed “with the international community and brotherly and friendly countries” that have requested it, said the statement without elaborating. Libya’s National Oil Corporation (NOC) had announced Friday the resumption of crude production and exports after a nearly six-month shutdown due to conflict dividing the country.Oil exports are the source of almost all state revenue in Libya, which has been mired in chaos since the ouster and killing of dictator Moamer Kadhafi in a 2011 NATO-backed uprising. A first ship was due to start loading crude from the Al-Sidra oil port in the east of the country, the NOC had said.But the state oil giant warned it would take time for output to return to previous levels because of major damage to energy infrastructure.Pro-GNA forces have scored important victories in recent months, regaining control of the northwest and driving out forces loyal to Haftar, who had launched an abortive offensive in April 2019 to seize Tripoli.The NOC had invoked force majeure in response to the blockade -- a measure used in exceptional circumstances that allows it to be exonerated from liability in the event of non-compliance with oil delivery contracts.Earlier this month, the NOC had reported talks, “supervised by the United Nations and the United States”, to allow the resumption of production. Pages 123 RELATED ARTICLES Iran’s Khamenei urges fight against ‘tragic’ virus resurgence Jul 13, 2020 0 432 Palestinian Authority orders nightly, weekend coronavirus curfew Jul 13, 2020 0 387 Iran says misaligned radar led to Ukrainian jet downing Jul 13, 2020 0 999 Coronavirus claims over 20,000 lives across Mideast Paris The novel coronavirus pandemic has killed more than 20,000 people across the Middle East, half of them in Iran, according to an AFP tally at 1000 GMT Sunday based on official tolls. But despite having 907,736 .. Jordan king says virus ‘under control’ AFP Amman Jordan’s King Abdullah II said Sunday that his country had successfully brought the novel coronavirus “under control” and that it was time to focus on restarting the economy. “We have successfully dealt with .. Four civilians killed in Mali unrest: Hospital Bamako Four people, including two teenagers, were killed in violence that raged in the Malian capital Bamako on Saturday and through the night, a hospital official said. Clashes have erupted in Bamako as demonstrators .. Egypt cracks down on ‘life-threatening’ kite-flying DPA Cairo Egypt has launched a crackdown to arrest makers and flyers of kites after the pastime reportedly caused accidents among young people and kids. Flying kites has gained more popularity in densely populated urban .. Iranian petrochemical plant rocked by explosion, fire Tehran A petrochemical complex in south-western Iran exploded and erupted into flames on Sunday, the country’s ISNA news agency reported. The blaze occurred at the Shahid Tondgooyan plant in the city of Mahshahr. The ..