24 Sep 2012

Libya to dissolve 'unlawful' militias

8:31 am on 24 September 2012

Libyan authorities say they will dissolve all militia and armed groups that do not come under state authority.

The move comes a day after Benghazi residents rebelled against militia in violence that killed at least 11 people and wounded more than 70.

The head of the national assembly in Benghazi, Mohammed al-Megaryef, says the authorities will also bring together the army, forces of the interior ministry and defence ministry brigades comprising former rebels.

They have called on the army to impose its authority by putting its own officers at the head of brigades born out of the 2011 revolt, which escalated into civil war and toppled the regime of Muammar Gaddafi.

The new authorities have not been able to disband these civilians turned fighters, though many of their units have joined the ministry of interior or ministry of defence.

On Saturday, tens of thousands of Libyans demonstrated against militias, 10 days after an attack on the US consulate in Benghazi left four Americans, including the ambassador, dead.

Hundreds of them later stormed the bases of militias sparking heavy clashes that left 11 dead and dozens wounded.

Among the 11 dead were six members of Libya's security forces who were executed, according to a medical examiner.