World Bulletin / News Desk
The U.S. navy on Saturday turned control of an oil tanker, which had previously loaded hundreds of thousands of Libyan oil through an illegal deal with militants controlling the northeastern Sidra Port, to Libyan authorities, the U.S. Embassy in Libya said.
"The handover took place in international waters off the coast of Libya, and the Government of Libya and its security forces are now in control of the vessel," the embassy said in a statement on its official Facebook page.
In what showed the lack of government control over the nation's ports, militants controlling Sidra Port and the oilfields of the northeastern Barqa region sold hundreds of thousands of crude Libyan oil to the North Korea-flagged tanker earlier this month.
Despite threats by the Libyan army to attack the tanker once it is out of the port, the vessel managed to flee the port.
Describing the tanker as a "stateless" one, the U.S. embassy said it was assured that its captain, crew members, and Libyan nationals who were aboard it would be treated humanely in accordance with internationally recognized standards of human rights.
Libyans are still struggling to restore order to their country more than two years after the ouster and death of long-serving strongman Muammar Gaddafi.Last Mod: 22 Mart 2014, 17:34