By Sami Zaptia
Tripoli, 21 November 2013:
In the aftermath of the bloody Gharghour incident which left nearly 50 dead and 500 injured, . . .[restrict]many Tripolitanians were pleased to see so many official security forces dispersed across the city, manning major crossroads and checkpoints.
However, skeptical Libyans have been wondering whether these forces were official security personnel, or whether they were militias in new uniforms.
Regular security personnel are those who have individually joined either the army or the police. They take and implement orders from their ranking superiors and abide by strict rules and regulations, including not participating in politics, strikes or demonstrations.
They are not groups of former thuwar that had taken part in the fighting to overthrow of the Qaddafi regime who had formed a regionally or tribally-based military unit. Former fighters are allowed to join the regular forces as individuals, but not as part of their whole militia.
At Tuesday’s questioning of the government, both the Interior Minister and Defence Minister confirmed that all individuals now providing security to the capital were members of the official army.
Asked by a GNC member whether regular security officials that had not turned up to work had been reprimanded, the government said that such procedures would be implemented in January 2014. It is thought that some were not going to work fearing confrontations with militias.
The government had previously warned all official security personnel to turn up to work or face wage cuts or job losses.
The GNC also asked why insufficient security had been provided for the demonstrators at Ghargour – as is proscribed by Demonstration Law No. 65. The government response was that it had, in its view, provided enough security for the demonstration it had permitted, which was in the Abu Harida/Al Aqsa mosque square and roundabout, and not beyond. [/restrict]