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Tag Archives: Militias
By: Daniel Korski
Guns blazing, Libya’s various militias are showing little sign of laying down their arms and giving authority to the Libyan state. Even Mustafa Abdul Jalil, chairman of the National Transitional Council, has saidthat Libya faces a risk of widespread conflict, after a gun battle between militias in one of Tripoli’s busiest streets killed four fighters.
Publicly, the militiamen are reluctant to lay down arms for fear of a rearguard pro-Gaddafi takeover. In reality, they like their newfound power and want to ensure that they swap their weapons for status and influence. How many of these groups exist is not clear — some estimate 100, with over 125,000 armed Libyans making up their numbers. As a new report from the International Crisis Group notes:
‘Militias mimic the organisation of a regular military and enjoy parallel chains of command; they have separate weapons and vehicle registration procedures; supply identification cards; conduct investigations; issue warrants; arrest and detain suspects; and conduct security operations.’
This is clearly not what most Libyans fought for and want — and people hope they don’t have to wait until after elections are held before the situation is cleared up.… Read More
By Mahmoud Habboush and Ali Shuaib
Libya risks sliding into civil war unless it cracks down on the rival militias which filled the vacuum left by Muammar Gaddafi’s downfall, the head of the interim administration said after an outbreak of violence in the capital.
Mustafa Abdel Jalil, chairman of the National Transitional Council (NTC), issued the stark warning in response to a gun battle between militias in one of Tripoli’s busiest streets which killed four fighters.
More than two months after anti-Gaddafi fighters captured and killed the former dictator, Libya’s new rulers still struggle to exert their authority as rival militia leaders refuse to cede control of their fighters and hand in their arms.… Read More
Many of these young men left school or their jobs to fight against Kadhafi’s dictatorship and are still providing security in parts of the country, including at key sites like Tripoli’s international airport.
On Sunday, Libya’s ministers of defence, interior and planning detailed a scheme to register these former rebels, hoping to integrate many of them into the military or police.
Those who choose to not join the security services could be trained in other fields, possibly outside Libya, or simply return to their school or set up businesses backed with state aid.
Interior Minister Fawzi Abdelali said the plan was not a reward for helping topple a reviled autocrat, but stressed that these fighters are needed to fill “large gaps” within the new government’s security apparatus.… Read More
It will take weeks to rid Libya’s streets of the militias that ousted Muammar Gaddafi, and months to form an army fit to take their place, Defence Minister Osama Al-Juwali said on Monday.
His comments signalled a rift with others in Libya’s interim leadership who have called repeatedly for the heavily-armed militias that swept into Tripoli in August to quit the capital and set them a deadline of the end of this month.
“I think this issue will be resolved in a month and a half, approximately. I’m not setting any deadlines,” Al-Juwali said in an interview with Reuters.… Read More
The official says the son of Gen. Khalifa Hifter was injured Thursday in a confrontation… Read More
The militias in Libya that provided the fighting force necessary to remove Moammar Gadhafi from power now form a new security problem, analysis finds.
The International Crisis Group, in a report published Wednesday, finds uncertainty in the number of militias operating in post-Gadhafi Libya. None of them, the group said, sees themselves as serving any sort of central authority like the Transitional National Council.
Clashes were reported last weekend between rebel fighters and the pro-TNC military. ICG notes that many local and civilian councils are wary of the TNC, which they see as largely self-appointed.
“Gadhafi centralized power without building a central state,” the report read. “His successors must do the reverse.”
Stratfor, a private intelligence company in Texas, said the prevalence of decentralized militias is getting in the way of the transitional government’s efforts to rebuild the country. This is creating a trust deficient in a country that is largely unfamiliar with a free political society.… Read More
“They would call you a Gaddafist if you drove one of those 4×4 cars,” says Bashar, emerging from a traffic jam in Tripoli.
“Today almost every rebel commander has one.”
Since the city fell into rebel hands in August, this young man of 30 has watched life change by the day through the windshield of his battered taxi.
Like most Libyans, Bashar has known only one form of government under Muammar Gaddafi. Today it’s different, but he’s far from happy with Libya’s newly-appointed executive.
“Is this the freedom and peace the rebels were supposed to bring us?” he asks, after going through yet another militia-run checkpoint.
“Are these the new leaders of Libya?”
A fake smile and the tri-colour flag hanging from the rear-view mirror are his political licence to ply his taxi.… Read More
Infantry spokesman Sgt. Abdel-Razik el-Shibahy says the army chief of staff was in a convoy Saturday traveling from his home in Tripoli to the military headquarters when… Read More