Benghazi port reopens after three-year closure

BENGHAZI, LIBYA (Reuters) – Benghazi’s commercial port officially reopened on Sunday (October 1) after a three-year closure due to fighting between rival factions in the east Libyan city.

To mark the opening Abdullah al-Thinni, prime minister of a government based in the east, arrived on board a tanker sent from the eastern city of Tobruk.

The port does not export oil, but imports gas and some petroleum products as well as general cargo, and local costs for these would be reduced by the port’s reopening, port spokesman Nasser Al-Maghrabi said. Like Benghazi’s airport, the port had been closed since 2014 because of a conflict between forces loyal to eastern-based commander Khalifa Haftar and an alliance of Islamists and other opponents.

Haftar declared victory in early July, though isolated skirmishes continued. Benghazi airport reopened in mid-July.

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