A member of the Libyan army is seen at the Mellitah Oil and Gas complex, west of Tripoli, March 4, 2013. (Image courtesy of VOA)

Libyan rebel leader Ibrahim Jathran has agreed to end its seizure of several oil-exporting ports after three rebel fighters were released by the government, according to reports.

The ports are expected to be opened within the next few days, ending an eight-month standoff between the rebels and the government in Tripoli.

Jathran told a rebel television station his militia group had reached a compromise benefiting “all honorable Libyans”.

“This agreement will upset all those who don’t want the good for Libya and its people but it will make happy all national thinking Libyans. That’s important for us. That’s what we strive for,” Jathran said.

The self-declared prime minister of the rebel group Abb-Rabbo al-Barassi told the Reuters, “The oil port issue will be solved within days. We agreed on all issues with the government in Tripoli.”

A government delegation will visit the rebel base in the eastern Libya town of Ajdabiya within two days to finalize the arrangements.

Last month the rebels attempted to bypass selling oil through Tripoli by hijacking a tanker and  attempted to sell the oil themselves. This ended abruptly when the U.S. Navy SEALs retook the ship on President Obama’s direct order and returned it to the Libyan government.

Libyan oil production fell from 1.4 million bpd to 150,000 bpd when the protests and clashes with rebels began in July of 2013.


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