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2015-07-10    来源:新东方    【      托福雅思口语高分过

Libya's government

Sailing into troubled waters

A struggle to control oil exports reflects deeper dysfunction

“OIL IS our strength”, declares a billboard campaign launched by Libya's oil ministry. The advertising is meant to foster national pride in a country still riven with regional and tribal fault lines three years after the ousting of its dictator, Muammar Qaddafi. But in Libya's restless eastern half, sometimes known as Cyrenaica, armed federalists are trying to make that slogan a political reality.

Since July a group calling itself the Cyrenaica Political Bureau has blockaded Libya's main oil ports, the country's chief source of income. Its initial pretext was to protest against alleged fraud in oil-export accounts, but its ambitions have widened. On March 11th it pulled off a coup, successfully loading and dispatching 234,000 barrels of crude oil—worth about $30m—aboard a North Korean-flagged tanker, in defiance of the central government.

Authorities in the capital, Tripoli, responded furiously. On March 9th Ali Zeidan, the prime minister, called it an act of piracy and warned that the tanker would be bombed if it tried to leave the port of Es-Sider. Navy craft were mobilized to prevent the ship from departing. When it escaped nonetheless, apparently after a brief skirmish, Libya's acting proto-parliament, the 200-member General National Congress (GNC), voted to dismiss Mr Zeidan. Powerful local militias loyal to the GNC began an advance from Sirte, midway along the Libyan coast, towards the east. The rebels have been given two weeks to give up the oil terminals.

The drama has set the scene for what some analysts fear could be a descent into deeper disorder. The eastern rebels are no match for the better-armed government-aligned forces, and ordinary Cyrenaicans have little appetite for another all-out war, particularly given bitter local rivalries. But there is still a danger that the authorities in Tripoli may overplay their hand to the point of provoking full-scale rebellion in the east.

In moving to oust Mr Zeidan, the GNC asserted itself as Libya's prime authority. But it is divided along factional lines and has few tools to impose its writ. Blaming the ex-premier for the tanker fiasco, it also directed the state prosecutor to charge him with embezzlement. Mr Zeidan still managed to flee to Germany.

In fact, many Libyans view the GNC as dimly as they had come to regard Mr Zeidan. Behind its maneuverings many see the hand of powerful Islamist groups, led by the Justice and Construction Party, which is affiliated to the Muslim Brotherhood. Frequently during Mr Zeidan's year-and-a-bit in office, these groups moved to stymie his government's initiatives. The newly installed interim prime minister, Abdullah al-Thinni, a former defense minister, is thought to be close to the Islamists, as is the speaker of the GNC, Nuri Abu Sahmain. Both men are supported by the country's best-armed militias, based in the city of Misrata, whereas Mr Zeidan was backed by armed groups from Zintan, to the southwest of Tripoli.
事实上,许多利比亚人隐约地看待GNC如果看待扎伊丹一样。它的阴谋活动背后有许多能看到由公正和建设党领导的伊斯兰主义组织,隶属于穆斯林兄弟会。扎伊丹任职期间这些组织频繁的妨碍他政府的主动权。新上任的临时首相,前国防部部长Abdullah al-Thinni也被认为是伊斯兰主义者,就像GNC的发言人Nuri AbuSahmain一样。他们都是由总部在米苏拉塔的国家最好的民兵支持,然而扎伊丹是由来自黎波里西南部城市津坦的武装组织支持。

These rival forces have clashed around Tripoli for several months. In the wake of Mr Zeidan's ejection the city's military council, which co-ordinates Tripoli's various local militias, issued an order for the withdrawal of “forces occupying strategic positions”. This was seen as a warning to the Zintan group, which controls the capital's main airport among other places.

The main city in the east, Benghazi, has meanwhile become increasingly insecure. Near-daily bombings and assassinations appear to be aimed at undermining any authority, to the advantage of jihadist factions that seek to impose Islamic law. With oil exports slumping from1.4m barrels a day to around 235,000, the central government has plundered the country's foreign reserves to keep salaries flowing. It is not clear how long it can afford to continue.

These ingredients make a combustible mixture. Fighting in the east could provoke a wider insurrection there; and deepening disorder in Tripoli could tempt other local authorities, especially those in the deep south, to declare their autonomy. Should a Brotherhood-friendly government emerge in Tripoli, neighbouring countries such as Egypt and Algeria would become twitchy.

Libya may yet drag itself back from the brink. Rather than attempting to hold their ground at Sirte, the Cyrenaican rebels quietly pulled back to the old border line that demarcates the former federal region, which was abolished in 1963. Optimists point out that Mr Zeidan was ousted by an elected body, and left without a shot fired. GNC members have promised fresh national elections by midsummer. But just now that looks awfully distant.

1.struggle to 奋力;挣扎
例句:Curiously, the struggle to survive has greatlyimproved her health.
2.try to 设法;试着;尽力
例句:I try to remember all the good times I've hadhere.
3.prevent from 防止;阻止;预防
例句:He tried to prevent union money from being sequestrated by the courts.
4.give up 放弃; 投降
例句:They'll have to give up completely on certain of their studies.

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