Tripoli, 19 March 2013:
Interior Minister Ashour Shuwail and Chief of the Armed Forces Yousef Mangoush, meet in Tripoli on Sunday, 17 March, to visit the premises of the newly formed joint security force, between the Ministry of Interior and Defence.
Speaking to the infantry of the joint force, Shuwail said Libya was entering the most difficult period of its development, that of building a new state based on the rule of law, freedom, human rights and democracy. The state’s authority and legitimacy had to be recognised. He added that Libya was a prosperous and strategically located nation and, to move forward, order and stability had to be restored.
The joint security force represented a commitment to achieve the goals of the revolution, and everyone, including members of the force, had to partake in the rebuilding process, said Shuwail.
The primary objective of the joint force is to secure Tripoli and Benghazi by disbanding militias that remain outside the state’s control and who continue to resist the central government’s orders to cease arbitrary detention, torture and occupation of government and private property.
According to the Interior Ministry’s Facebook page, what has been dubbed “Operation Tripoli” is now underway. Posted on the website of Al Wataniya TV, in a recent interview, Ministry’ spokesman Magdi Al-Arafi, reported that headway was being made.
Arafi stated that one of the capital’s major militias, previously known as the Artillery Brigade, had been disbanded and its members brought to justice. The renegade brigade was located in the Qasr Ben Gashir area of Tripoli.
Operation Tripoli began on Saturday, 16 March, with an aim to clear an estimated 500 locations around the city of gangs and militias, many of which have set up headquarters on the outskirts of Tripoli on lands and farms belonging to members of the former regime. It has been reported that following the raid on the Artillery Brigade, other militias have voluntarily surrendered.
Last week, illegal street stalls and shacks in Tripoli’s Shara Rashid, were bulldozed as a measure to enforce building regulations, clean up the area and ease unnecessary traffic. More demolition is expected in other areas where street stalls have taken over. The response from the public has largely been positive, as is the announcement that action against militias was finally materializing. [/restrict]