By Sami Zaptia.
Tripoli, 22 November 2013:
Asked by Libya Herald as to why the militias were allowed to leave their bases with . . .[restrict]their weapons, Head of the Law 27 Implementation Committee and Electricity Minister Ali Muhairig said that Law 27 did not cover weapons.
Speaking Thursday at the Prime Ministerial press conference at the end of the Sawaiq militia handover ceremony, Minister Muhairig Law 27 “does not mention weapons. It only says that militias must vacate their bases in Greater Tripoli. They can move now anywhere they wish outside Greater Tripoli”, Muhairig confirmed.
There has been some public disappointment and suspicion that militias were permitted by the authorities to vacate and leave their bases in Tripoli with the full complement of their arsenal. The fear is that these militias had the option and capability to return to the capital whenever it suited them at some future date.
Asked if a count had been carried out of all the militias present within Tripoli, and if so what were their numbers, Minister Ali Muhairig refused to divulge an exact number, admitting that the government had a good idea of the main and large militias, but not the very small ones.
He described many of the smaller militias as “fake” militias which were formed post liberation. When pressed by Libya Herald for an approximate number, Muhairig would only go as far as to say that they were in their “tens”.
Asked whether there was no a plan to collect the weapons in the possession of ordinary civilians, Prime Minister Ali Zeidan said that if his government were to pass such a law, it needs to be able to implement it, implying that presently it does not have such a capability.
Moreover, he went on to add that he felt that a policy to collect weapons from the general public would happen “in its time, with the conviction of the public”. The need for the conviction or will of the public was shown he said after the death of the Gharghour 50. [/restrict]