By Umar Khan.
Tripoli, 27 June 2013:
A number of high level meetings are being held in the capital in an effort to . . .[restrict]put an end to the recent surge of violence that have so far left five people dead and around 97 injured according to figures released by Ministry of Health.
Many influential leaders are leading individual efforts to end the violence. The recent wave of fighting reportedly began when a unit belonging to the Petroleum Facilities Guard (PFG) was called back from duty and its members attacked the headquarters of PFG on their return.
The clashes intensified further when one compound housing a brigade from Zintan that falls under the Ministry of Defence was attacked by several units falling under both the Defence and Interior ministries. The clashes resumed on Wednesday when two brigades attacked the local military council of the Abu Salim district.
One of the peace-seeking meetings was attended by Prime Minister Ali Zeidan and high ranking Interior and Defence ministry officials last night in Tripoli. Some members of the General National Congress (GNC) were also present. They agreed to implement GNC decision number 27 , completely restricting the movement of armed vehicles within the city.
They also decided to ask the Joint Force (JF) to immediately secure Tripoli and agreed to support it fully and make available the funds to ensure the continuity of its operations. It was also agreed that the Yarmouk military base would be vacated in the coming days.
Addressing a press conference earlier today PM Zeidan made the same announcements. He told the media that Yarmouk base must be vacated in the next five days.
Sadat Elbadri, Chairman Tripoli Local Council (TLC) confirmed to the Libya Herald that several meetings were still taking place in a bid to stop the ongoing violence. He said that it was decided at the highest level to empower the JF to secure the whole city and get rid of all brigades.
“This is the time to do it” he explained, “We have been told by the government officials that they will rein in the brigades. I hope it is done this time. As the people responsible for the city, we are trying our best to safeguard it and its people. In a meeting last night, we agreed to fully support the JF in implementing the decision number 27 of GNC and securing Tripoli. They have been given the orders to mobilise and take control of the situation.”
Speaking of the ‘Security Council of Tripoli’ initiative, Elbadri said that it was not done in coordination with the TLC. “We told them that if they want to help, the best way would be to support the JF as any other security body will not have legitimacy. It’s time to join hands and not to create further divisions. ” The ‘Security Council of Tripoli’ involves former revolutionary brigade leaders and some of their men, who have returned to civilian life but have been dismayed at the continuing violence in the capital. It is not believed that the proposed unit has formed and it has therefore played no part in seeking to curb the recent fighting.
Elbadri also confirmed that, as part of the peace efforts, a delegation from the Eastern Libya is on its way to Tripoli to try to diffuse the tension. “They will be arriving today to meet with the both parties and try to end the tension. We are also meeting with other influential personalities from other cities to try and mediate a peace deal. Although these are not permanent solutions, we hope government will deal with these problems in a strong way.”