Thursday, March 1, 2012
Libya: City of Bani Walid still under control of Gadaffi loyalists
Bani Walid south of Tripoli the Libyan capital was a Gadaffi stronghold. Although captured by rebels four months ago resentment has simmered ever since. The residents accuse the rebels of raiding homes, looting, and even torturing those seized.
About a month ago armed Gadaffi loyalists threw out the rebels freed prisoners from jail and set up their own local government. An attempt by the rebels to take back the town failed. The NTC has not as yet sent forces to free the city.
An article in Al Jazeera with a video shows the former mayor- imported from the U.S. by the way-- who lives in Tripoli with a number of ejected families. They are waiting for the government to retake the city and wreak revenge on the Gadaffi loyalists. The NTC may prefer to work with the new council in Bani Walid. So far the NTC has not moved to retake the city.
The central government still lacks central armed forces that are strong enough to deal with local militias. In many places it is the local militia that is the final authority as in Misrata.