By Libya Herald staff.
Tripoli, 11 March 2014:
Tripoli is to make a renewed attempt to rid the capital of armed groups, according . . .[restrict]to the head of the local council Sadat Elbadri.
“We don’t want named armed groups here, we want proper official security,” Elbadri told the Libya Herald. He added that kidnappings had become commonplace and were occurring in the capital on a daily basis.
“Tripoli has to be cleansed of unwanted forces and unwanted heavy weaponry,” he said, invoking Law No. 27 to remove militias from the capital.
Elbadri admitted that this was not the first time the Council had tried to remove militia presence from Tripoli. Armed groups had been given time to leave the capital, he said, but they had not responded.
“This is more than just a statement, we have people on the ground,” Elbadri said. He added that the Tripoli Military Council and local revolutionaries would implement the decision, which came after two days of meetings between the local and military councils.
The announcement has come at a decisive moment on how Libya approaches armed groups operating outside the law, in particular those under the control of self-styled federalist leader Ibrahim Jadhran.
Misratan forces took to the sea this week to help vessels operating under the Libyan Navy try to apprehend an oil tanker that loaded an illegal shipment of oil at Sidra, one of three oil export terminals controlled by Jadhran.
Further forces from Misrata today successfully took on federalist armed groups which had occupied Sirte’s Ghardabiya airbase for several days. They are reportedly now awaiting reinforcements and orders to head east to bring the oil ports back under state control.
Tripoli Council’s announcement also came shortly after the General National Congress (GNC) announced it had passed a vote of no-confidence against Prime Minister Ali Zeidan, removing him from post with immediate effect. He has been temporarily replaced with Minister of Defence Abdullah Al-Thinni. [/restrict]