Speaker Aguila Saleh conveyed to the Presidential Council on Wednesday that Libya’s House of Representatives has nullified a military prosecutor’s directive to incorporate the crucial Al Khums commercial port into a nearby naval base.
This decision was prompted by protests that erupted on Tuesday, as residents of the port city of Al Khums barricaded roads to oppose the annexation. They argued that such an action would severely harm the local economy. In response, Interior Ministry forces were dispatched to manage the ongoing demonstrations.
Saleh stated that the Parliament promptly convened an emergency session in Benghazi to deliberate on the unilateral order issued by the prosecutor. In a communication addressed to the Presidential Council’s Mohammad Menfi, lawmakers declared the military directive as both “invalid and illegal.”
During the session, Saleh urged the council to assume responsibility and intervene to halt the execution of this action. He emphasized that the annexation would deprive multiple towns of essential revenue. Residents contended that the Al Khums port serves as a critical economic lifeline for several underprivileged areas.
The execution of the legislative overturning of the military annexation order by Presidential Council chief Menfi remains uncertain. Nevertheless, the lawmakers have sent a resolute signal, underscoring their determination to curb expansionist endeavors by armed forces aimed at consolidating economic sway.
On the previous Sunday, a statement reportedly from the local community of Khums rejected the prosecutor’s decision to transform their city’s commercial port into a military base. They called upon the relevant authorities to halt the proceedings, highlighting that the port sustains the livelihoods of numerous families in Khums and neighboring regions.
The city witnessed heightened tension on Sunday night as impassioned demonstrators set tires ablaze in protest against the decision. The protesters contended that the decision was based on a letter from the commander of the Khums Coast Guard and Ports Security, which demanded the evacuation of the port and the departure of all vessels from the location.
In response to these unfolding events, a meeting was convened in the city, bringing together officials from the municipal council, representatives of the Port Drivers Union, and the Libyan Ports Company. During this meeting, a consensus was reached to establish a committee responsible for ongoing oversight of the matter.
The Municipal Council’s media office emphasized that the port holds substantial economic significance, serving as a vital resource for both local and non-local citizens. Beyond its economic contributions, the port also generates employment opportunities within and beyond the municipality.
About Al Khums Port
Al Khums Port is a significant commercial and industrial port located in the city of Al Khums, which is situated along the northern coast of Libya. This port plays a crucial role in facilitating trade, import, and export activities for the region.
It serves as a vital gateway for the transportation of goods, commodities, and resources, contributing to the economic activities and livelihoods of the local communities and surrounding areas. The port’s strategic location along the Mediterranean Sea makes it an important hub for maritime trade and commerce.