Libyan militia brings protest to minister

Comment on this story
iol news pic Libya PM REUTERS Ali Zeidan, Prime Minister of Libya addresses the 22nd session of the Human Rights Council at the United Nations in Geneva on February 25, 2013.

tripoli - A group of unarmed militiamen demanding better pay for guarding Libya's borders barged into the prime minister's headquarters on Monday, but the man they'd come to see was away, an official said.

Prime Minister Ali Zeidan was in Geneva to address the United Nations Human Rights Council when about 30 men forced their way into the government compound in central Tripoli, in the latest example of volatility plaguing the North African country.

“The group went upstairs and spoke to one official there but they wanted to see Zeidan who is not in the country today,” a government official, who declined to be named, said, adding painting was damaged in the process.

He said the group staged a peaceful sit-in outside the main building but still within the compound.

It was not immediately clear who the men were but the official said they belonged to border security forces - mainly made up of militias aligned with the defence ministry.

With a weak state army and police, Libya's government relies on militias for security in the North African country.

Earlier this month, former rebel fighters wounded in the 2011 war that ousted Muammar Gaddafi and calling for better compensation forced their way into the meeting hall of the national congress, forcing its members to find other temporary venues to hold sessions.

Government buildings as well as oil installations have become a focal point of protests in Libya as the government struggles to impose order on a vast and divided country still awash with arms.

In a move seen as an attempt to appease growing discontent, congress leader Mohammed Magarief this month promised to hand out money to Libyan families to mark the second anniversary of the start of the North African country's revolution. - Reuters

sign up

Comment Guidelines

  1. Please read our comment guidelines.
  2. Login and register, if you haven’ t already.
  3. Write your comment in the block below and click (Post As)
  4. Has a comment offended you? Hover your mouse over the comment and wait until a small triangle appears on the right-hand side. Click triangle () and select "Flag as inappropriate". Our moderators will take action if need be.

  5. Verified email addresses: All users on Independent Media news sites are now required to have a verified email address before being allowed to comment on articles. You are only required to verify your email address once to have full access to commenting on articles. For more information please read our comment guidelines