By Sami Zaptia.
Tripoli, 31 January:
Prime Minister Ali Zeidan claimed that security will be fine in a few weeks in Libya and . . .[restrict]Interior Minister Ashour Shwail admitted his surprise at the security incident in Misrata – at yesterday’s Prime Minister’s press conference.
Libya Herald asked the Interior Minister in view of the Algerian In-Amenas incident, the French intervention in Mali, the security incidents in Benghazi, the Misrata assassination of the local council member and the bomb thrown into the UN compound in Tripoli – what was his comment about the reality of the security situation in Libya?
But before the Interior Minister could reply, the Prime Minister interrupted him: “I will answer regarding Algeria and Mali”, before allowing his Interior Minister to continue.
In reply, Minister Shuwail admitted his surprise at the Misrata incident. “Misrata was strong and under control. We changed the head of security there”, he added. As for the home-made bomb thrown into the unmanned UN compound in the Gurji district of Tripoli, the Interior Minister said that he had been talking to the UN earlier and that “they were happy with our response”.
And although I had directed my question at the Interior Minister, Prime Minister Zeidan interjected, adding that Libya was “in a revolution and the revolution had destroyed many interests. They don’t want order”, he added without specifying who exactly they were.
“The borders were open and anyone who wanted to enter could enter. There is progress on the security front. Some groups want this and the efforts of the state to fail.”
Regarding my Algeria portion of the question, the Prime Minister said that “We went to Algeria. It could have happened anywhere. I met the (Algerian) Foreign Minister in Davos and the (Algerian) Prime Minister in Addis Abbaba and discussed many security issues. Our forces are now on the borders. This was a one-off”, Zeidan concluded.
Asked by a member of the press if the lack of security would force foreign companies to leave Libya, the Prime Minister reacted by saying that “the phrase lack of security is wrong. If there was no security we would not be here now. But I want to assure you that in a few weeks security will be fine and companies will be back” .
In his briefing before taking questions, Interior Minister Shuwail had confirmed that over 26,000 individuals had applied to join the official security forces and he stressed that they will get paid even if they fail to get accepted. There will be fast track training he stressed.
The Minister also revealed that CCTV cameras will be installed or activated in Tripoli, Benghazi and Sebha. This will enable the authorities “to monitor the security situation even from Tripoli” he explained.
Shuwail also announced that the National Unified ID Number and the new issue electronic passports will be activated soon. He added that there were many fraudulent passports in circulation, especially outside Libya. [/restrict]