Libya’s armed forces have not received orders from Prime Minister Ali Zeidan to move against eastern oil ports and use force to end a six-month blockade there by protesters, an army spokesman said.

Zeidan on Monday repeated a warning he may turn to force, and said he ordered the defense ministry weeks ago to move armed forces to the eastern ports, where the protests have cut off around 600,000 barrels per day of crude exports.

The army said on Tuesday that no orders had come though and no troops had been deployed to confront the former state oil security guards who defected in August and took control of the Ras Lanuf, Es Sider and Zuetina ports as part of a wider group seeking more regional autonomy. […]