Mass demonstration in Tripoli against militias in the city

Thousands of Libyans have mounted a mass demonstration against the powerful militias that dominate Tripoli. The demonstration was in the Martyr's Square.

The demonstrators shouted slogans against the militias and demanded a unified army and police. The city has been rocked by clashes the last few days. Khalifa Ghwell who was attempting a coup lost his headquarters at the Rixos hotel complex. A ceasefire was reached yesterday but some key militia rejected it and there have been further clashes since.
There were some who shouted support for Khalifa Haftar commander of the rival Libyan National Army linked to the Tobruk-based House of Representatives (HoR). Haftar is opposed not only to the Tripoli militias but the UN-brokered Government of National Accord as well. Mohamed Zein, a 27-year-old protestor said: "We won't go home until our demands are met. We ask for all militias that have come from outside of Tripoli to leave immediately."
The protesters marched peacefully demanding that all illegitimate militia leave Tripoli as was also part of the recent ceasefire agreement. They demanded the activation of police and army institutions in the capital. The Libya Observer claims that supporters of Khalifa Haftar had infiltrated the protests and started to shout slogans in support of him as well as racist slogans against the city of Misrata. Some militia in Tripoli come from Misrata.
After this happened gunmen in pickups stormed the square and fired shots into the air in order to intimidate the protesters and disperse the protestors. In spite of the gunfire, there has as yet been no report of casualties. The Grand Mufti, Al-Sadiq Al-Gharyani, accused Khalifa Haftar as being behind recent clashes. He denounced the silence of the official authorities toward the ongoing clashes. The PC was able to reach a ceasefire as mentioned earlier but it does not include some key militia. There appear to have been a number of different causes of the clashes among militia with varying agendas.
There have been numerous tweets on the demonstrations and related events. One tweet notes that 22 militia announce that they support the GNA government: "22 Local militias in Tripoli announce (for the first time) that they are part of Libyan UN backed gov. UN gov supporting militias officially." No doubt this sudden loyalty to the GNA is related to a desire not to be ordered out of Tripoli. Another tweet reports on the gunmen who broke up the demonstration: Witnesses: "3 vehicles fired shots in the air to intimidate protesters against militias in Tripoli. #Libya." The gunmen have yet to be identified.


Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Danish company uses high tech solution to save water

Interview with UN Envoy Martin Kobler on situation in Libya

Dogs in small Finnish town to be fitted with special wolf-protection vests