Libya: Drama On The High Seas

Libya’s tumultuous politics spilled over into the international arena once more this week, in the process exposing the murky world of oil trading.

Attempts by eastern federalists to export oil in defiance of Tripoli reached a spectacular conclusion this week, after US navy SEALs boarded a North Korea-flagged tanker off the coast of Cyprus in the early hours of 17 March.

The Morning Glory had illegally taken on crude at the Es Sider terminal, held by forces loyal to Ibrahim al-Jathran, the charismatic figurehead of a movement demanding more autonomy for the eastern part of the country.

The tanker left Es Sider on 11 March, coming under fire from the Libyan navy, which proceeded to escort the vessel to a government-controlled port. But the vessel, reportedly under the control of armed Libyan men, managed to escape its escort and head for international waters. (CONTINUED - 1072 WORDS)