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Libya MPs oust premier after rebel oil shipment

Published on Mar 11, 2014 11:55 PM

TRIPOLI (AFP) -  The Libyan parliament ousted Prime Minister Ali Zeidan Tuesday after a tanker laden with crude oil from a rebel-held terminal broke through a naval blockade and escaped to sea.

The no-confidence motion was approved by 124 of the 194 members of the General National Congress, four more than the majority required, MPs said.

Mr Zeidan, an independent elected with the support of liberals, has proved incapable of bringing to heel the myriad of former rebel militia that have carved out their own fiefdoms since the 2011 uprising that toppled the dictatorship of Muammar Gaddafi. The premier was himself briefly abducted by former rebel militia in the heart of the capital last October.

In a new humiliation for his government, a North Korean-flagged tanker laden that had taken on a cargo of oil from a rebel-held terminal in the east slipped the warships deployed to intercept it and escaped to sea earlier Tuesday. The Morning Glory, which docked in Al-Sidra Saturday and is reported to have taken on at least 234,000 barrels of crude, is the first vessel to have loaded oil from a rebel-held terminal since the challenge against the Tripoli authorities erupted last July.

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