By Sami Zaptia.
Tripoli, 3 March 2013:
At Thursday’s press conference Prime Minister Ali Zeidan and his Interior Minister Ashur Shuwail gave a . . .[restrict]detailed round-up of the latest security situation in Libya.
“Regarding general security, I am in constant contact with the GNC, its head Mohamed Magarief and the GNC Committees. We have talked about the various thuwar (militiamen) and armed groups.”
“We have discussed the occupation by armed groups of villas, houses and buildings in Tripoli which they must vacate in the next few days – or we will take action. We will not allow our cities all over Libya to be hijacked. The state must impose its will and I call on the public for their support”.
Ashur Shuwail, for his part felt that with regards to security Libya was “on the right path. We are working on renovating sites. We are working hard. We face a legacy”.
Interior Minister Shuwail then surprisingly, but frankly, admitted that “hijackings and kidnappings and arbitrary arrests “ by unknown individuals and groups had become a problem and especially over the last three to four days in Tripoli”. Some of these perpetrators have been arrested but he also admitted that there were still some people missing and it was unclear where they were or who had kidnapped them.
Shuwail went on to say that he was preparing a group to take action and deal with this issue.
Referring to armed militias all over Libya, Shuwail was adamant that “the majority of armed groups wanted to give up their arms and enroll” to official security forces.
Regarding demonstrations and civil disobedience by police, Shuwail added that “the police need discipline. Demonstrations are for civilians. Security personnel must make their appeals through internal procedures.”
Shuwail also revealed that there were over “120,000 police and about 44,000 administrators. These are huge numbers. Many are at home collecting pay, but not turning up for work. Many have not turned up for work for 4-5 years. We have given them notice to turn up to work or we may dismiss them”.
With regards to border security, Shuwail revealed that he “will be slowly appointing Ministry of Interior personnel at the border crossing points to replace the thuwar (militiamen)”.
With regards to the recent clashes in Kufra, Shuwail reported that the situation was now under control. The cause of the problems was personal issues he said that could have grown into a bigger problem. The army were present there now and more armed reinforcements were on their way.
He also revealed that a new Security Directorate had been recently appointed for the area from outside the city – as was requested by the people of Kufra. [/restrict]