Libya gunmen reject govt demands

2013-05-02 20:35
Clashes in far-flung corners of Libya and attacks on election organisers have raised doubts over the interim government's ability to police coming elections. (AFP)

Clashes in far-flung corners of Libya and attacks on election organisers have raised doubts over the interim government's ability to police coming elections. (AFP)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Tripoli - Libyan gunmen besieging two ministries have rejected government demands to disband saying they are determined to stay put until authorities agree to their demand and sack former regime officials, one of them said on Thursday.

"A delegation representing the government of [Prime Minister] Ali Zeidan came to meet us on Wednesday and asked us to lift the sieges but we refused," the militiaman told AFP outside the encircled foreign ministry.

"We will continue blocking [access to] the ministries of foreign affairs and justice until our demands are completely satisfied," he added.

The gunmen have encircled the foreign ministry since Sunday and the justice ministry since Tuesday, to demand that the General National Congress adopt a bill that would purge former officials of the ousted regime of Muammar Gaddafi.

The same groups, most of them former rebels who fought to oust Gaddafi in 2011, briefly occupied the finance ministry on Monday.

The GNC, Libya's highest political authority, has been studying proposals for a law that would see top figures from the Kadhafi regime removed from their posts.

That has caused a stir among Libya's political elite, as several current senior officials could be affected.

Under increasing pressure from demonstrators, the GNC said on Monday that it was suspending plenary sessions until Sunday.


It said the delay was needed to give political blocs in the GNC time to examine the bill to reach a compromise on the law.

GNC Vice President Salah al-Makhzoum said a compromise had been reached among the political blocs by adding "exceptions" in the bill in order to retain key individuals.

He said the bill is expected to be voted on next week.

But the militiaman who spoke to AFP said the bill "falls below the expectations of the protesters" and has been "rejected" by a coalition of partisans of excluding former regime officials.

Observers have said armed groups are using the law only as a pretext because their interests are threatened by Zeidan's government, which is trying to dissolve the militias.

The former rebels, who helped oust the former regime, have grown in influence in the aftermath of the Libyan uprising that toppled Gaddafi.

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.
Read more on:    ali zeidan  |  libya  |  north africa publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24


Rugby World Cup 2015

All the action from the 2015 RWC, including live coverage of all 48 matches, breaking news, fixtures, results, logs - and much more!


Rugby World Cup 2015

Boks more focused after Japan shock
Ireland recall Toner, Healy for France
LIVE: New Zealand v Tonga
Pumas, Namibia make 11 changes each
Traffic Alerts

It is always easier to notice the faults in others rather than face our own. Focusing too much on the perfect and ideal more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.