Tuareg reject use of force to free Libya oilfields

TRIPOLI – Libya's Tuareg tribes on Wednesday ruled out the use of force to liberate militia-controlled oilfields in the country's southwestern Barqa region, calling instead for a peaceful resolution of the issue.

"The Tuareg shy away from any act that could lead to bloodshed among Libyans," Mawlai Aqdidi, head of the Supreme Council of Libya's Tuareg, told Anadolu Agency.

"We support all efforts that aim to resolve the problem," he added.

On March 8, interim parliament speaker Nouri Abusahmain, who also serves as the supreme commander of Libya's armed forces, ordered that a military force be drawn upto liberate the militia-controlled Barqa oilfields.

The government's lack of control over the oilfields became manifest early this month, when the militias that control them sold thousands of barrels of Libyan crude oil to a North Korea-flagged tanker.

Last week, Libya's parliament gave the militants controlling the oilfields a two-week ultimatum by which to relinquish control of the facilities, after which, it warned, force would be used against them.

The Tuareg– a Berber people who adhere to a nomadic, pastoralist lifestyle – live in the deserts of Libya, Algeria, Niger and Mali.

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