By Sami Zaptia.
Tripoli, 11 November 2013:
At yesterday’s press conference, Prime Minister Ali Zeidan defended his government against criticism of inaction in . . .[restrict]building a police force and army to counter the power of the thuwar, now increasingly viewed by the public as militias.
“They say we are doing nothing, but this is not correct”, the Prime Minister said emphatically. He repeated the fact that around 3,000 security personnel are to be sent for training in Turkey, UK and Italy and maybe another 4,000 – 5,000 would be added too, he explained.
Zeidan blamed the apathetic Libyan public for not wanting to join the official security forces. He said that there was little response by citizens to work with the state. He stressed that this was not an excuse, but said that the public must cooperate with the state.
“If you ask where is the army, where is your son?”, Zeidan retorted. “The army is built by and with Libyans” he explained, appealing for general public support. However, he stressed that those joining the army must join “without preconditions”.
Zeidan criticized the thuwar for wanting to join with preconditions and special treatment. He criticized those who pretended to be the guardians of the revolution saying this must not be used as an excuse.”All Libyans did their part” in the revolution, he stressed.
Zeidan said that the thuwar were currently being assessed and conscripted into the official security forces. Libya could not form an army in 10 months, he stressed and without the participation of its citizens.
With regards to the police, Zeidan said that the Ministry of Interior was holding meetings all over Libya assessing its and the nation’s needs. He stressed that finances were made available.
He revealed that lengthy meetings were held with the leadership and that plans were on the verge of being executed. He referred to the presence of extra security police seen around the cities of Benghazi and Tripoli as proof of the development of the government’s security plan.
Replying to calls for is and his government’s resignation, Zeidan reiterated the same line that this government is staying in power “for the sake of Libya”, he stressed and that when there is a replacement “it will leave”. [/restrict]