UPDATE 1-East Libya separatists set Dec 15 deadline for oil deal

Leaders of a movement seeking autonomy for Libya's Cyrenaica region say they could allow oil exports to resume on Sunday if Tripoli allows the region to take its share of crude.

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TRIPOLI // Leaders of a movement seeking autonomy for Libya’s Cyrenaica region yesterday said they could allow oil exports to resume on Sunday if Tripoli met their demands and allowed the region to take its share of crude.

The heavily armed tribal movement, which has blocked several ports to demand a bigger share of oil wealth and autonomy for the eastern region, will sell crude on its own if the government does not come through, the leaders said.

There was no immediate reaction from Tripoli, which has so refused to recognise a self-declared eastern government after the movement seized the Es Sider and Ras Lanuf ports and other facilities in the oil-rich east.

The movement is made up of tribesmen and fighters who helped topple Muammar Qaddafi in 2011 and now demand a federal system that would share power between the Cyrenaica, the west and southern Fezzan, similar to the political system in the kingdom before Qaddafi.

“Oil exports will resume under three conditions,” said Ibrahim Al Jathran, an autonomy leader.

He said the Tripoli government needed to form an independent committee to investigate claims of oil sale corruption and another committee to group all three Libyan regions to share the oil wealth.

* Reuters