Saturday, September 14, 2013

Libya's beleaguered government faces water threat

Space Daily via UPI: Libya's fragile government, grappling with marauding militias that have virtually shut down the country's vital oil industry, has another big problem in its struggle to impose control -- water supplies.

Militants loyal to the late Moammar Gadhafi seized control of the Great Man-Made River, a $33 billion project that taps a vast acquifer under the Sahara desert to supply the entire country, Sept. 3. They did so to secure the release of the daughter of Gadhafi's former spy chief, Abdullah al-Senussi, who's scheduled to stand trial for crimes committed during Libya's eight-month civil war in 2011 that toppled Gadhafi.

What made it doubly embarrassing for the government was that Anoud al-Sanussi, 22, was snatched Sept. 2 in an ambush in the capital by elite forces as police escorted her to the airport to board a flight to Sebha, hundreds of miles south of Tripoli, to join relatives there.

The government of Prime Minister Ali Zeidan settled the issue and restored control of the water supplies by the end of last week after Senussi's daughter was released unharmed Sunday. She had been seized less than 100 yards from Tripoli's al-Rayoumi where she had served a 10-month sentence for entering Libya with a forged passport in October 2012....

Work on the Great Man-Made River in Libya, shot by Jaap Berk, public domain

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