By Libya Herald reporters.
Tripoli, 29 January 2015:
Protestor have stormed government offices in Beida demanding that more be done to help those . . .[restrict]displaced internally by the fighting, who are struggling to survive without promised funds and adequate housing.
The demonstration yesterday by something less than a hundred people, began peacefully with calls for delayed salaries to be paid and essential services to be restored. But there were also some protesters who were demanding the resignation of the government of Abdullah Al-Thinni.
Beida was struggling to cope with the influx of refugees from Benghazi and Derna said one protestor. There was a lack of accommodation and even the basic necessities of life. The crisis, it was claimed had grown to become a mater of national security, the broadcaster Alwasat reported one demonstrator as saying. Yet though it had promised all sorts of help, the government had disbursed little in the way of money. Refugees in Beida and its surroundings had survived thanks to the kindness of townsfolk, civil society organisations and the municipality.
It is reported that when arriving officials sought to ignore the peaceful demonstrators, the mood turned angry. A group of the protestors forced their way into one of the main buildings used by the Thinni government.
Beida, where the internationally-recognised government has chosen to base itself, while the House of Representatives works out of Tobruk, has seen growing tensions in recent months, as hard winter weather has kicked in. The town is seriously overcrowded. Power is intermittent and internet connectivity is slow even for Libya. The price of cooking gas and charcoal has rocketed.
Beida seems to have been chosen originally by the government for its secure location. From the start of its work, the Constitutional Committee decided to operate from the old parliament building. Yet there are now rising doubts about the town’s safety. The terrorist group Ansar Al-Sharia claimed last week to have established a Beida cell. [/restrict]