By Sami Zaptia.
Tripoli, 24 November 2013:
Speaking at last night’s late press conference, flanked by six Ministers and the Chief of . . .[restrict]Staff, Prime Minister Ali Zeidan thanked all those involved in the smooth evacuation and handover of militia bases last week.
He stressed that the Law 27 Ministerial Implementation Committee will continue to monitor the vacation of militia bases and their handover to the regular army. But the PM also stressed that the Committee will monitor the new locations the militias move to.
The PM stressed that while the process of militias vacating bases and leaving Greater Tripoli continues, it will not “happen in a day”. He hoped that by next Friday there would be “positive news”, without elaborating further.
Moreover, the PM stressed that militia withdrawals would not be “reversed” but that they are now “a matter of fact”. He warned that any militias that attempted to delay the process would be named and announced to the public.
Head of the Law 27 Committee and Electricity Minister Muherieg, for his part, denied reports that some militias had made unreasonable financial demands as well as jobs in exchange for leaving Tripoli. Muherieg said that, on the contrary, many militias were waiting to handover to the authorities.
He admitted that, however, that whilst his Committee was in contact with many militias prior to the Gharghour incident, many were lukewarm about handing over, and that after Gharghour the response from militias had changed for the positive.
Zeidan warned the general public not to enter army barracks and not to inflame the situation and pleaded with them to keep demonstrations and civil disobedience acts “peaceful”, appealing for the post Independence “solidarity spirit”.
With regards to NGO’s, the PM did not deny them the right to independently monitor the militia pullout, but stressed that they should be in small groups. He hoped that citizens remain “optimistic” and “hopeful”, despite the challenges experienced along the way.
He appealed to the media to take care in the news it broadcasts, saying that it acts as if Libya were in a “normal” situation, when it is not. He appealed to their “spirit of responsibility” and stressed that they check the accuracy of their news. [/restrict]