Tripoli, 22 December:
The head of the General National Congress (GNC), Mohamed Magarief, joined the list of government and military officials to . . .[restrict]condemn the recent violence in Benghazi.
Magarief said yesterday that the clashes in Benghazi on Thursday “are not just a cause for sadness and sorrow, but a cause for condemnation and criticism in the strongest possible terms.”
He made it clear that the state would not tolerate attacks on its institutions, saying: “We in the GNC and the interim government, with the permission of God, will stand in the face of any aggression against the state.
“This city has suffered enough oppression, tyranny, injustice, deprivation, marginalisation, neglect and tyranny over the last four decades,” he added.
In the statement, Magarief was also stressed the importance of the rule of law in Libya, saying no individual or group had the right to appoint itself the guardian or moral guarantor of the Libyan people without their free choice.
However, he also called on the Ministry of Interior to intensify their investigations into recent violence in the eastern city.
Several people were killed on Thurday when a demonstration outside the General Security Directorate escalated into a gun battle between security forces and members of an armed group.
Since the violence, a number of key officials have issued statements damning the clashes and calling for residents of the city to show self-restraint and to respect the rule of law.