Report: Lawless Libya ‘awash in weapons’, out of control

Special to WorldTribune.com

WASHINGTON — NATO has become quietly concerned over the collapse of
authority in Libya.

Diplomats and non-government organizations have reported increasing
violence in Libya since the election of the nation’s first parliament. They
said the government in Tripoli has lost control over most of the North
African state, including much of the energy sector.

Libyan rebels pose next to a Scud rocket last September near Misratah that was abandoned by forces loyal to Moammar Gadhafi. /Ciro Fusco/EPA

“[Libya] is awash in weapons, ranging from bullets and mortars to
torpedoes and surface-to-air missiles,” a report by Harvard University’s International Human Rights Clinic said.

The clashes have included rival tribes, ethnic groups and powerful
militias. Diplomats said the violence was worst in such cities as Benghazi and Tripoli, much of which controlled by the militias.

So far, Libya has failed to deploy forces to impose control over the
country. Libyan police have been unable to stop even petty crime while training programs in Jordan have been disrupted.

Libya has also been hampered by the formation of several government security forces. They included the Supreme Security Committees responsible to the Interior Ministry and the Libyan Shield Forces, overseen by the Defense Ministry. SSC, with up to 100,000 personnel, was said to have been responsible for the relatively peaceful parliamentary elections in July.

“They are rapidly become a force unto themselves [and] overshadow the
regular police and national army,” the Carnegie Endowment for International
Peace said.

A major concern was the government’s failure to retrieve the weapons,
including missiles and rockets, stolen from the arsenal of the late
Col. Moammar Gadhafi. Oxford University has asserted that up to 85 percent
of weapons and fighters remained outside government authority. Misrata, for
example, was said to contain 40,000 militia fighters.

Clashes were also linked to the huge arms smuggling sector in Libya. The
violence was said to be greatest in the southern region
of Fezzan and Kufra. Many of the weapons were said to have gone to such
countries as Algeria, Chad, Mali and Sudan.

“Whilst helpful in stabilising the country in the short term, the spread
of parallel security institutions whose relations to the army and police
remains ambiguous could develop into a more profound issue in the future,”
the British risk analyst company Maplecroft said. “This will likely lead to
rivalry and a lack of cooperation that will hinder regular security forces
ability to operate effectively.”

1 Comment for “Report: Lawless Libya ‘awash in weapons’, out of control”

  1. According to Hillary Clinton, the Arab Spring movement was a manifestation of the yearning of Muslims for freedom and democracy. Since Islam is incompatible with both freedom and democracy, she must have assumed that the Arab Spring was a secular movement. George Bush, Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton all seem oblivious to the fact that Sunni Muslims have been killing Shiite Muslims, and Shiite Muslims have been killing Sunni Muslims, for centuries. They either can’t or won’t recognize that simple fact. Perhaps that’s why they call us infidels.

You must be logged in to post a comment Login

Real-Time News from Times247.com