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Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Officials from UN-backed Libyan government banned from opening of power station

At the Al-Khums Power Station in the city of Al-Khums about 120 kilometers east of Tripoli the second gas turbine was put in operation Saturday. The increased output will likely ease the power shortage in Tripoli the capital.

In a boost for the Salvation Government members who plotted a coup back on October 14, Khalifa al-Ghawiel PM of the Salvation Government attended the opening ceremonies. Acccording to a report in the Libya Observer Ahmed Mitiq a member of the Presidency Council (PC) of the rival UN-backed Government of National Accord (GNA) was declared persona non grata at the opening. Mitiq and his delegation which included a steering-committee for the General Electricity Company were ordered to leave the city according to local sources.
The PC of the GNA had earlier selected the steering committee for the General Electricity Company of Libya. However, the Tripoli Court of Appeal ruled against the appointments and ordered that the current management, which is loyal to the Salvation Government, remain in office.
The company said that the first turbine should be in operation by later this year with a total output of 262 megawatts. This extra power should help reduce the number of power cuts in Tripoli. The cuts are particularly bad in the summer months when the weather is veyr hot and often humid.
Several tweets comment on the opening. One says: Khalifa Laghwel PM of Salvation Governement officially opened #Khoms power plant. 100k east if #Tripoli, reports on denying access to Mieteg. Another tweet commented: If Ghwell/Salvation Govt opened Khoms power station 100 km east of Tripoli: further proof of ineffectivness/failure of Serraj/PC/GNA/LPA!
The weakness of the GNA has already been shown by several events including the seizure of the Rixos hotel, headquarters of the High State Council of the GNA, by members of the Salvation Government on October 14. Not only have the coup members managed to maintain control of the Rixos complex but a portion of the Presidential Guard whose mission is to defend the GNA defected and supported the group. The coup leaders have controlled the Rixos complex for weeks now. The GNA does not seem to have the power or at least the will to try and oust the coup members by force. The Salvation Government appears not to be dead as yet.
In a frank interview, PM of the GNA Faiez Serraj admits the many problems of the GNA most of which remain to be solved. A recent report by the International Crisis Group is also critical of the GNA as well as the Libyan Political Agreement (LPA)


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