Posts Tagged ‘Libye’
“Islamic law is the source of legislation in Libya,” stated the General National Congress in a statement released shortly after the vote was held. “All state institutions need to comply with this,” it said.
The process by which the new sharia law system would be implemented was not immediately clear, but a special committee will review all existing laws to ensure their compliance with Islamic law, according to Reuters. The move came shortly before a separate vote to establish a 60-person committee which will be responsible for drafting the country’s new constitution.
Sharia law – the moral code and religious law of Islam – is dissimilar to Western ‘codified’ law in that its moral and legal guidelines are looser. Its rulings are based on the Koran, the sayings of the Prophet Mohammad and Muslim traditions. In its strictest form, it is perceived to be the divine will of God.
The country remains in a chaotic transition period after the NATO-backed ousting of Muammar Gaddafi two years ago. Libya’s administrative and security structures remain fragile, with the most recent escalation happening on November 15 when 46 people were killed in the Libyan capital.
(Source / 04.12.2013)
Kerry was speaking in London following talks with British counterpart William Hague and Libyan Prime Minister Ali Zeidan.
“We talked to the prime minister today about the things we can do together – the United Kingdom and the United States and its other friends – in order to help Libya to achieve the stability that it needs,” he told a press conference.
“Libya has gone through great turmoil, particularly after the course of the last weeks,” Kerry added.
“And the Prime Minister informed us of a transformation that he believes is beginning to take place and could take place because the people of Libya have spoken out and pushed back against the militias,” he said.
“So this is a moment of opportunity where there’s a great deal of economic challenge, there’s a great deal of security challenge,” he added.
Rebels helped topple and kill veteran dictator Muammar Qaddafi in 2011, but have since banded into militias carving their own fiefdoms, each with its own ideology and regional allegiance.
Libya’s government announced plans last Tuesday to remove militias from the capital and eventually integrate them into the security forces, after a weekend of deadly clashes between militiamen and residents.
Hundreds of residents then on Friday called on Libyan militias still in Tripoli to follow other groups and withdraw.
Zeidan stressed that country had lately “done a lot to get rid of the militias” and praised the work of allies who had committed to help Libya.
As a result, he predicted that Libya would become “an active contributor on the world arena.”
Foreign Secretary Hague pledged Britain’s support to help Libya establish security and democracy and, along with Kerry, welcomed the withdrawal of armed militias from Tripoli.
(Source / 24.11.2013)
TRIPOLI (AFP) — Libya’s deputy intelligence chief Mustafa Nur was abducted Sunday in Tripoli, a security official told AFP, as tensions ran high in the capital following deadly violence over the weekend.
“The vice president of intelligence was abducted shortly after his arrival in Tripoli from a trip abroad,” said the official, who declined to be named.
There was no immediate claim for the abduction, which came as Tripoli began a three-day strike to mourn dozens of people killed in clashes at an anti-militia protest — the deadliest violence in the capital since the 2011 uprising.
(Source / 17.11.2013)
Libyan citizens have paid with their lives for the reckless acts of unaccountable militias.Libya needs security forces who don’t stand by as militias kill unarmed protesters.
(Tripoli) – Militias from Misrata fired assault rifles, machine guns, and heavy weapons at overwhelmingly peaceful protesters in Tripoli on November 15, killing several people. Ensuing clashes between armed groups and militias left 43 people dead and at least 460 wounded. State security forces present at the initial protest apparently failed to protect protesters or to arrest and disarm the militias.
The Libyan government should immediately make good on its promise to disarm the militias and investigate the events, and hold militia members and commanders to account for the attack, Human Rights Watch said. The government also needs to explain why police and military forces failed to intervene as the killings continued.
“Libyan citizens have paid with their lives for the reckless acts of unaccountable militias,” said Sarah Leah Whitson, Middle East and North Africa director at Human Rights Watch. “Libya needs security forces who don’t stand by as militias kill unarmed protesters.”
The Tripoli Local Council, in charge of administering the capital, called for a peaceful protest on November 15, 2013, rallying citizens to demonstrate against the presence of illegal armed groups in Tripoli. According to organizers of the protest, thousands of people marched peacefully from al-Quds Square toward the neighborhood of Gharghour, where militias from Misrata have occupied homes belonging to former Gaddafi officials. Members of these militias often operate under the umbrella of police or army forces.
Human Rights Watch spoke to eight eyewitnesses, including protesters, journalists, and bystanders, who were present at the demonstration. Human Rights Watch also visited two hospitals in Tripoli during the night of November 15, and spoke to medical staff, victims, and families of victims. All eight witnesses told Human Rights Watch that they saw no arms being carried by protesters at the beginning of the demonstration. They said militias from Misrata based in the area started to fire both directly and indiscriminately at protesters when they approached Gharghour in the early afternoon.
Moez, a protester who was present from the beginning of the demonstration, told Human Rights Watch that Misrata militias started to fire on protesters from three villas in Gharghour when demonstrators turned onto Gharghour Street. He said demonstrators were not using or threatening violence, but were chanting, “Tripoli is free, militias should leave,” and “We want the army, we want the police, Libya is in a mess.”
Moez said the first two victims were men – one, an older man in traditional Libyan dress, was shot and died, while another was shot in the arm and leg. He said he saw seven wounded at this initial stage.
Around one hour after the Misrata militias started to fire on the crowd, armed men and members of various Tripoli-based militias arrived to defend the protesters, Moez said.
It is unclear how many protesters were killed during the first round of shooting by the Misrata militias. The government said 43 people died during the day and at least 460 were injured. The 43 dead include people who were apparently not involved in the protest or the clashes – at least two medical staff on duty, a journalist, and some students – as well as fighters who came in support of the demonstrators. According to the state news agency LANA, three militia members from Misrata were also killed during the clashes.
Human Rights Watch visited the emergency departments and morgues of Abu Salim Trauma Hospital and Zawiya Street Hospital in Tripoli, which received the dead and wounded during the night of November 15. At both hospitals Human Rights Watch saw armed men from various militias moving freely through the facilities.
In Zawiya Street Hospital, Human Rights Watch researchers counted seven dead bodies, including that of a young woman whose face was blown away by heavy weapons, according to medical staff. Human Rights Watch staff counted a further 18 corpses in the morgue of Abu Salim Trauma Hospital, including the body of a young male with a decapitated head and the body of another young male cut in half at the torso.
According to medical staff at both hospitals, most of the wounds were caused by heavy weapons, including anti-aircraft weapons, Hawn rockets and rocket-propelled grenades. Some injuries were from lighter arms, including Kalashnikov assault rifles and machine guns.
Two of the victims appear to have been medical personnel who were trying to retrieve wounded people. One witness told Human Rights Watch that a doctor with the family name Abdelmunem was killed and a nurse named Mohamed Jbali was wounded when the ambulance in which they were traveling was shot at by machine guns and anti-aircraft weapons around 8:00 p.m. on Gharghour Street, near where the main fighting took place.
“We had already evacuated one dead person we had with us in the ambulance,” a medical worker who was present told Human Rights Watch. “All of a sudden, the firing started. They were shooting at us with all types of weapons, including heavy anti-aircraft weapons. They hit the doctor who was with us in the ambulance in his neck.”
Two other medical workers, who did not witness the attack, said that the doctor and nurse were hit while in the ambulance.
According to Reporters Without Borders, Saleh Ayad Hafyanaa, a cameraman covering the clashes for the Fasatou press agency, was among the 43 killed. Three other media workers were injured while covering the events and a local news station, Tobacts, based in the Gharghour area, was attacked and burnt by unknown armed men, Reporters Without Borders said.
One media report said that eight students from Tripoli University were among the 43 casualties. The students include six men, Abdul Ati Zendah, Luay Al-Harathi, Mahmoud Waddan, Abdulrahman Kayim, Abdulaziz Bin Musa, Akram Al-Sharef, and two women, Aisha Sadiq and Marwa Amer.
Gharghour is an affluent area of Tripoli with villas previously housing senior members of the Gaddafi government. Since Gaddafi’s fall in July 2011, the area has effectively been under the control of numerous militias from Misrata, who have taken over large parts as their base of operations in Tripoli. Protesters marched to the Gharghour area to try and convince militias to lay down their arms and leave Tripoli.
Two eyewitnesses told Human Rights Watch that state security forces were present during the initial demonstration. Protest organizers had announced their plans for a demonstration after clashes in Tripoli on November 7 between militias from Misrata and Tripoli had left several dead and injured. Prime Minister Ali Zeidan confirmed this on November 16 when he said that armed forces present at the demonstration, including the police and army, had orders not to intervene. He explained that security forces could not intervene because they were weaker than the militias.
Prime Minister Zeidan also said the General Prosecutor would launch an investigation to determine who was responsible for the killings at the demonstration. Human Rights Watch welcomed this announcement, but urged the government to act swiftly to disarm militias, particularly those responsible for violent attacks on citizens.
Describing a related incident, a witness reached by phone told Human Rights Watch that armed men from Misrata entered Tripoli’s al-Fallah camp for displaced residents of Tawergha on November 16 and fired indiscriminately at residents, leaving at least one man dead and three injured.
These militias and local Misrata authorities have prohibited around 35,000 people, the entire population of Tawergha, from returning to their homes in the town, which has been extensively damaged by Misrata militias over the past two years. Misrata militias accuse the population of Tawergha of having committed serious crimes against people in Misrata during the 2011 uprising against Gaddafi.
“What will it take to rein in the violent militias terrorizing the people of Libya?” said Whitson. “For too long the government has said it’s too dangerous to disarm the militias – now it should be clear that it’s too dangerous not to do so.”
(Source / 17.11.2013)
Protests in Libya
The entire western intervention in Libya was a lie fabricated from the very beginning to allow the US/NATO to prevent: gold-based dinars from damaging the dollar, an international law suit filed by Libya over the violations by the West of treaties, Libyan oil trade to be done in Euros, and a non-US controlled block to grow strong. The “humanitarian intervention” was never about protecting the Libyan people. It was only about money, geopolitics and resources. By providing air-support, funding and weapons to Al-Qaeda, the Muslim Brotherhood and terrorists groups US/NATO was successful in destroying the government, completely freeing up the resources and assassinating the leader. The Libyan people now live in a state of anarchy being decimated by US/CIA/Al-Qaeda (the CIA data-base), and the West is silent. Where is the “support for the people of Libya” now? Farazh Muftah is a representative of the tribes of Libya and is in exile, he granted the VOR an interview on the real situation in Libya.
You are listening to part one of an interview with Farazh Muftah– a spokesperson for the tribal nations of Libya. You can find part 2 of this interview in the near future on our website at voiceofrussia.com
Our country was safe and secure until what happened with it in 2011. It was started by lies and dirty games by satellite from many journalists of CNN, al-Arabia, Al-Jazeera, BBC as well and Qatari channels which prepared all the propaganda before the game has been started.
They lied to the people and they said that they will come to Libya to protect the civilian people. They only used this reason as a pretext to destroy our country, destroy all establishment and destroy our regime.
You have to know that the majority of Libyans supported the former regime and we did not have any problem before 2011. Our regime was the fairest regime, it was against Al Qaeda and terroristic groups on the ground and around the world.
And our leader Col Gaddafi – the fairest guy – announced and reported to the United Nations Security Council, the US and other Western countries that they must arrest Osama Bin Laden and Al Qaeda groups, it was in 1987.
At that time no one listened to our side. The reality and the truth is that the Western world and especially the USA and the CIA, which gave control to America, they knew already that Bin Laden works with them.
France, the United States, Italy, Qatar, Turkey, the Muslim Brotherhood and terrorist groups – they used Security Council resolution of 1971-1973 to launch and intervention and “protect” the civilian people. But they killed the people, as you know now approximately more than 500,000 people have been killed in Libya.
Muftah: Yes, about half a million has been killed in Libya since 2011 up to now. The majority of this number has been killed by NATO and the United States, the rest of them have been killed by militias and terrorist groups, and Al Qaeda as well.
In Libya still America and some Western countries support Al Qaeda and terrorist groups, especially in Tripoli – the capital of Libya. This is the big problem facing the Libyan people that NATO and the USA supported Al Qaeda and terrorist groups.
Now the danger has reached Algeria, Tunisia, Egypt, Mali, Chad – they get the resources and establish control over our cities in Libya. As you know, they burned more than four or five cities in Libya. In Tawergha all cities have been completely burned in 2011.
Bani Walid attack of 2012 was by militias, about 20,000 militias attacked Bani Walid city to try to establish control over it, but it was hard for them, because the people in Bani Walid are brave and strong fighters, they were against and they defended their city. They got the out back to Misrata militias.
It is a hard situation for more than 30,000 Libyan civilian people inside the prisons. Nobody knows their fates. It is a situation of unknown presence without any control from the government, because there is no government.
Let’s me tell you something about the problem with Interpol. When NATO and Americans invaded Tripoli with militias and terrorist groups, they attacked the Interior Ministry and the office of Interpol was taken over by militias.
2 million Libyan people have been exiled and they are living in a bad situation in Tunisia, Algeria, Niger, Chad, Mali, Egypt, Malta and a small number of them in the Western countries. There is no United Nations that cares about us, there are no human rights organizations that care about us, there is no international community that cares about us.
Nobody will bring control in our country, nobody will clean up our country, only Gaddafi loyalists know how to clean out the terrorist groups and Al Qaeda. And we have our own experts, more than 2,000 security experts outside Libya, they have been exiled. And they are followed by Al Qaeda terrorist groups.
Every day they kill an officer from our military, every day they kill one member of the security section in Libya, every day they kill civilian people, kidnap them, rape the ladies, rob stores and banks.
Robles: It sounds like complete anarchy. Can you tell me what was life like before the NATO invasion? What was life really like for Libyan people when the US and NATO said they were oppressed and they were being killed, and everybody hated Gaddafi? What was life really like?
You cannot imagine how is it to burn and attack civil cities, to burn them and then bomb for two months about three or four times every day. Did you think about this? How is it that the NATO forces, their airplanes, their military, which were prepared to fight against Russia and then attacked a small city like Bani Walid?
This is the truth and this is the real story. We were living in so good situation, nobody was against Gaddafi. There were a few people and they say that this is a political group. But they ran away from the military in 1971-1973 to America and America protected them, and America used them as spies, as Ali Zeidan.
Muftah: The militias since 2011 sell the Libyan oil in the Mediterranean Sea without any documents, without anything. It is a black market. Many groups from the eastern part did not allow Ali Zeidan, from the puppet government to sell oil unless they have a know and help to plan and organize how to sell our oil.
Muftah: No, not any more. It’s been blocked by many groups in Ras Lanuf, Sitra, Zueitina. And even yesterday I think a group from west part militias has blocked gas, which is supplied to the south of Italy.
Robles: I’d like to ask you a question. In Egypt we now know the United States supported the Muslim Brotherhood, like they supported Al Qaeda, like they created Al Qaeda, like MI5 created the Muslim Brotherhood – the Egyptian people have filed crimes against humanity charges against the US and Barack Obama. Can the Libyan people do the same thing?
Muftah: Yes, our group and our lawyers, who have been exiled as well, they are preparing all the documents and all files to bring them to ICC or to any international court, to show them all the evidence how NATO and America destroyed the country and destroyed the land of Libya. They are working on it.
(Source / 16.11.2013)
The militias are holdovers from the 2011 uprising that ousted Muammar Qaddafi and now a powerful force in the increasingly lawless North African country.
Sadat al-Badri, president of the Tripoli local council, or town hall, who had called for the protest, told AFP the shots fired at the hundreds of demonstrators came from inside the headquarters.
“Tensions are on the rise in Tripoli. We’re going to announce a general strike and launch a civil disobedience campaign until these militias leave,” he said.
At the weekly Muslim prayers held hours earlier, imams in their sermons backed the call to protest against militias issued by the town hall as well as Libya’s mufti, the highest religious authority.
Hundreds of people carrying white flags in a sign of peace, as well as the national flag, and singing the national anthem had assembled in the capital’s Meliana Square.
They then marched to the Misrata militia headquarters in the Gharghour district to press their demands when gunmen inside fired into the air to scare them off.
When the crowd continued to approach the building, the gunmen started firing at them, said an AFP correspondent who saw two wounded, including one hit in the stomach.
A leader of the militia from Misrata, east of the capital, told private television channel al-Naba that the demonstrators had opened fire first.
The march was sparked by violence on Nov. 7 in which the Misrata militia also played a central role, illustrating again the instability of Libya.
One of the group’s leaders, Nuri Friwan, had been fatally wounded in fighting at a checkpoint manned by other ex-rebels, and two people were killed in subsequent fighting.
One Western diplomat said the situation was becoming “increasingly critical,” and the British, French, Italian and U.S. embassies issued a joint statement calling for Libyans to “put aside their differences.”
Residents of Tripoli frequently demonstrate against the militias, who have rejected calls from a weak central government to leave the capital.
Just weeks ago, armed men seized Prime Minister Ali Zeidan and held him for several hours before releasing him.
The head of an interior ministry anti-crime unit later boasted that he was behind the “arrest” and that he was “proud” of it.
(Source / 15.11.2013)
Protestors have shut Libya’s gas export pipeline to Italy, its only customer, demanding more rights for the Amazigh, or Berber, minority.
Although the closure on Monday of the Greenstream pipeline will take several hours to register at the other end, it adds to Italy’s energy headaches after Ukraine halted gas imports from Russia, which could also impact supplies. Italy depends heavily on Russian gas.
Amazigh protesters last month seized the port at the Mellitah complex, some 100 km west of Tripoli, and have already shut down oil exports from there.
The port is operated by Libya’s National Oil Corp and Italian energy company Eni.
“We tried to convince them not to close the pipeline, but it’s closed now,” Munir Abu Saud, head of the local oil workers’ union, told Reuters. “Sadly, its true,” said a senior official at the Libyan oil ministry. Tripoli has seen its authority crumbling over its restive regions and fears an exodus of foreign oil companies and investment.
The Amazigh minority in September shut a pipeline feeding gas from Eni’s Wafa field to export facilities at Mellitah. Although this squeezed exports, much of the gas Libya sends to Italy comes from offshore fields.
Gas flows on Greenstream were at 15.9 million cubic metres on Monday – for now the same amount requested by operators, data from gas grid operator Snam showed.
“At the moment we do not see supply problems for Italy,” said Eni, the biggest oil and gas operator in Libya, in an email response.
Exports from Africa’s fourth-largest gas reserve holder to Italy have fallen since last year as production rates lag pre-civil war levels.
Libya’s 9.9 billion cubic metre/year Greenstream can meet up to 12.2 percent of Italy’s annual gas demand, although last year it accounted for just nine percent of imports, a share that has continued to drop this year.
Italy is 90.4 percent dependent on imports for its gas needs, with a clear majority coming from Russia - of 31 percent in 2012, though that share has likely grown this year.
A spokesman for the protesters camped out at the Mellitah complex said they had ordered the closure because Libya’s parliament and the government had not met their demands by Sunday.
“This time it is for real because the General National Congress did not meet our demands,” the spokesman said.
The Amazigh protesters want their language guaranteed under Libya’s planned new constitution and a bigger say in a committee to be elected to draft the constitution.
The GNC debated the issue on Sunday but has not yet found a solution, said GNC Spokesman Omar Humeidan.
Two years on from the 2011 overthrow of Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi the country remains beset by violence, strikes and protests over political rights, jobs, and how its oil wealth is to be shared.
Most ports in eastern Libya are shut though the government had managed to end blockages of western ports in September.
(Source / 11.11.2013)
AFP - At least two people died in overnight clashes between militias in the centre of the Libyan capital, the health ministry said Friday, terrorising residents and underlining the country’s instability.
The fighting that erupted late Thursday was the latest sign of the growing lawlessness that has plagued Libya since NATO-backed rebels overthrew and killed veteran dictator Moamer Kadhafi in 2011.
Libya’s new authorities have struggled to impose order as many ex-rebels have banded into militias and carved their own fiefdoms in a country awash with weapons looted from Kadhafi’s arsenal.
The latest violence erupted after news broke that Nuri Friwan, a militia chief from Misrata, Libya’s third city which saw some of the most brutal fighting in the 2011 uprising, had died.
Friwan had been wounded on Tuesday when a fight erupted at a checkpoint manned by rebels of Soug al-Jomaa district in eastern Tripoli.
To avenge Friwan’s death, armed members of the Misrata militia drove to Soug al-Jomaa in vehicles equipped with anti-aircraft guns, blocking the main road to the area, witnesses said.
Witnesses and security officials said intense fire and explosions rocked several parts of the capital overnight and could be heard well into the early hours of Friday.
“Each group opened fire into the air as a show of force,” a security official said on condition of anonymity.
A health ministry spokesman said the fighting killed two people and wounded 29 others, but that most of those hurt had left hospital after receiving first aid.
Several buildings were hit by anti-aircraft fire, including the 15-storey Radisson hotel which is used by diplomats and businessmen.
An AFP correspondent saw the impact of bullets on the facade and windows that had been shattered, and said stray bullets fell into many other neighbourhoods of the capital.
A spokesman for the hotel said nobody was hurt.
“The hotel’s security services told us to go down to the basement where we spent most of the night,” a representative of an international organisation staying at the hotel told AFP.
“And today it is as if nothing happened,” she said.
A woman at a butcher’s shop in Hay al-Andalus near the city centre said it was sheer “terror”.
“A rocket fell into my neighbour’s bedroom. Luckily no one was there,” said Khadija, who declined to give her surname.
From 1:00 am (2300 GMT Thursday), a relative calm descended punctuated by intermittent gunfire.
On Friday morning, the weekly day of rest in Libya, it was business as usual in the capital and shoppers crowded the animal market held in the Soug al-Jomaa neighbourhood.
An AFP correspondent who toured the city where fighting had raged only hours earlier said there were no security forces to be seen anywhere.
“The situation has become increasingly critical,” said a Western diplomat, who declined to be named.
“What is quite worrying is that the authorities have not issued any official reaction. They are mere spectators and this shows their weakness and their inability to govern,” the diplomat added.
The ex-rebels who overthrew Kadhafi were hailed as heroes for bringing an end to more than four decades of dictatorship.
But many have rejected government demands to turn in their weapons or join the national security forces, posing a constant threat to the stability of post-Kadhafi Libya.
(Source / 08.11.2013)
Italian Navy helicopter footage showed the rescue attempt
Migrants who survived when their boat capsized in the Mediterranean say they were were shot at as they left Libya.
One survivor told the BBC that people on the boat were shot, and that bullet holes caused the boat to start sinking.
At least 33 people died in the incident, a week after more than 350 migrants died in another shipwreck off the Italian island of Lampedusa.
Italy said on Sunday that it would step up naval and air patrols in an effort to prevent further sinkings.
The joint navy and air force operation would begin on Monday, Italian Prime Minister Enrico Letta said.
“When we got inside the Italian waters, they lost hope and started shooting us with live rounds ”
Defence Minister Mario Mauro said Italy intended to triple its presence in the southern Mediterranean.
That had become necessary “in part by the fact that Libya is currently a ‘non-state’,” he told Italian newspaper Avvenire.
As many as 400 people were on board the boat that sank on Friday, many of them reportedly fleeing the conflict in Syria.
The man who spoke to the BBC said he was originally from a Palestinian refugee camp in the Syrian capital, Damascus. He did not want to be identified but gave his name as Abde.
He suggested that it was the Libyan coast guard that had fired at the boat, though other accounts suggested that rival trafficking gangs or Libyan militiamen may have been to blame.
“When we got out in the international waters, they came after us and shot some fires in the air and we kept moving,” said Abde.
“When we got inside the Italian waters, they lost hope and started shooting us with live rounds.
“They shot two of the skippers. Some of the women got shot. The last thing they shot the engine room in the bottom of the boat and that’s when the water started to get inside the ship.”
Those on the boat raised the alarm with the Red Cross, but had to wait for up to an hour-and-a-half before being rescued, he said.
Some survivors were taken to Malta, and some to Lampedusa.
The UN refugee agency, UNHCR, said three people were wounded in the shooting, citing reports from migrants. It said the shots were fired “perhaps by militiamen who shot to kill”.
UN High Commissioner for Refugees Antonio Guterres called for an investigation.
“They escaped bullets and bombs only to perish before they could ever claim asylum,” he said of the migrants.
Many of those who attempt the perilous journey north across the Mediterranean come from African or Middle Eastern countries suffering from war and repression.
Maltese Prime Minister Joseph Muscat has responded to the latest disasters urging Europe to act, saying that a “cemetery” was being created in the Mediterranean.
Mr Muscat visited Libya on Sunday, where he discussed the issue of migrant boats with Libyan counterpart Ali Zeidan.
“We are determined to deal with the problem,” Mr Zeidan said.
“Several measures have been taken in terms of equipment and the addition of maritime police to increase the monitoring of our shores,” he added.
“But, as you know, human traffickers have gained considerable expertise on this matter and despite tightening measures sometimes it is out of the hands of the authorities.”
Armed militias still hold some power in parts of Libya since they helped topple Muammar Gaddafi in 2011.
Mr Zeidan was himself seized by militiamen on Thursday and held for several hours before being released.
(Source / 13.10.2013)
After his kidnaping by gunmen on Thursday, Libyan Prime Minister Ali Zeidan, (C) says there are elements that want to bring down his government.
Libyan Prime Minister Ali Zeidan called Thursday’s incident when gunmen kidnapped and released him in the same day as an attempted coup against his government in a national television address on Friday.
“This is a coup against national legitimacy,” Zeidan said, after recounting how armed gunmen with a convoy of “100 vehicles” arrived at midnight at the Corinthia Hotel in Tripoli where he was staying.
He said the gunmen “must have worked under a command of leaders who want to impede the process to build a civil state.”
Zeidan cautioned that “there are elements that want to topple the government,” and turn Libya into other war-torn countries such as Afghanistan or Somalia.
The group which whisked Zeidan from the hotel was the Operations Room of Libya’s Revolutionaries, which has criticized him in recent weeks.
Zeidan said the gunmen, “who terrorized people in the hotel” and “looted all his belongings,” including important government papers, falsified statements by Libya’s Attorney General, saying he was asked to resign.
“They lied about the Attorney General ordering me to resign,” he said, adding that “what was done was a barbaric act that doesn’t suit a civilized country.”
Meanwhile, a man by the name of Haytham Abdulrahman was kidnapped after rejecting to take part of the process to abduct Zeidan, the premier said, warning that the abduction’s consequences “won’t pass easily.”
Zeidan said the government is going to hunt down his kidnappers and bring them to justice.
“The violence in Benghazi is a clear sign that these elements do not want a civil state, and the bombings don’t need an explanation either,” he added.
On Friday, a car bomb exploded outside the Swedish consulate in Libya’s eastern city of Benghazi, damaging the front of the building and nearby houses. No immediate casualties were reported.
Meanwhile, the General National Congress (GNC) – Libya’s highest political authority, is caught in a stalemate between secular leading party and the Muslim Brotherhood, and Zeidan has been facing a possible vote of no confidence.
The former rebels, now on the government payroll, who kidnapped Zeidan expressed anger at reports that the government had been informed in advance of a U.S. raid to capture an al-Qaeda suspect there.
The prime minister emphasized that Abu Anas al-Libi will be tried in Libya.
(Source / 11.10.2013)