Libyan port re-opens after three-year closure

Open for business: But so far business has been slow for Benghazi Open for business: But so far business has been slow for Benghazi

Libya’s Benghazi port has officially re-opened following a three-year closure due to rival faction fighting in the city.

The port’s manager Abdulazim Al-Abbar told Reuters that the port is now safe and is ready to receive tankers and that its reopening would help lower the cost of gas, petroleum and general cargo locally.

Business has been slow to start though he said, with no notification of any tankers having arrived at the port to do business yet.

So, in a bid to boost business at the facility, port officials have reportedly announced a temporary customs exemption for all imports through Benghazi.

The port’s reopening was inaugurated by the eastern-based government of Abdullah al-Thani who personally arrived at the port on board a cargo vessel accompanied by members of his cabinet.

Thani's provisional government of national unity (GNA) has not yet been recognised internationally since it was formed under a UN-sponsored agreement signed in 2015.

The port had been closed since 2014 together with the airport because of the conflict between forces loyal to eastern-based commander Khalifa Haftar and his Islamist opponents.

Haftar, who backs a rival administration to the UN-recognised government in Tripoli, declared victory in early July.

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