Tribal leaders control the oil in Libya

The tribal rebels still blocking the use of the eastern oil export terminals are under growing pressure from their own tribal leaders to lift the blockade. This is because the government has made it clear that over $10 billion in lost oil revenue has consequences and one of them will be cutting government salaries and benefits and this would make the leaders believed responsible very unpopular, even among their own people. The big problem with these rebels is that they are younger men (generally under 40) who do not pay much attention to tribal leaders. But the tribal elders do still have a lot of influence and prestige. Now that the grand promises of the young leaders have turned out to be unworkable and counterproductive desperate Libyans, including many of the younger ones, are turning to the tribal elders and leaders for help. In turn, the tribal leaders have become more amenable to compromise and cooperation at the national level. Many of the senior government leaders are tribal leaders or from families with influence in tribal affairs. The tribes may turn out to be the solution. Up until now the tribes have been a large part […]

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