WASHINGTON: The port of Benghazi will reopen on 1 October, according to port authority spokesman Muftah Al-Shuaiby. It has been closed for more than three years. In 2014, it was effectively controlled by the militants opposed to Operation Karama and at the time the Libyan National Army (LNA) even threatened to bomb it to prevent it being use to supply them. “We will bomb any ship approaching the coast and hold the port director responsible for it,” LNA air force head Major-General Saqr Geroushi said at the time.
Since the rebels’ defeat in July, the authorities have been keen to see the reopening of the port which was the main entry in the east of the country for many imports including wheat and other comestibles. It had suffered major damage during the conflict in Benghazi due to its close proximity to much of the fighting. In mid-July, the chief of staff and military governor from Ben Jawed to Derna, Major-General Abdul Razzaq Al-Nazhuri, visited it to assess the damage and what needed to be done before it could be operational again.