By Umar Khan.
Tripoli, 20 November 2013:
Tripoli was relatively quiet today with schools, state organisations and many government offices as well as . . .[restrict]ordinary businesses and shops closed following the call last night by Sadat Elbadri, head of the Tripoli Local Council (TLC), for the three-day strike over the Gharghour carnage to continue until Friday. It should have ended yesterday.
El Badri also called for renewed protests against the presence of all militias in Tripoli to take place at Martyrs Square on Friday after Jummah prayers.
His call followed the breakthrough in getting militias to quit the capital with the announcement on Sunday night by Misrata leaders that all its forces would depart the city within three days. The last brigade met the deadline today.
The Misratan decision was a response to the rising public anger in Tripoli following last Friday’s massacre.
Speaking to the Libya Herald today, Salah Abugrain, TLC security coordinator, confirmed the call for further protests, stating they was needed because not all militias had pulled out of Tripoli.
“The protest will take place after Jummah prayers at the Martyrs Square. This will continue until the implementation of Law No. 27,” Abugrain said. “So far, there has been no confirmation about brigades from any other towns leaving Tripoli, other than those from Misrata and Ghariyan.”
Law No. 27 ordered the removal of all armed groups from the capital.
Earlier today there were reports of Zintan’s Qaaqaa and Al-Sawaq brigades pulling out of the capital voluntarily, but it did not happen. Their vehicles were seen in the bases late this evening.
Meanwhile, the protests in Algeria Square continued during the day as demonstrators demanded the implementation of the Law No. 27 and that those responsible for the Gharghour slaughter be brought to justice. A number of meetings also took place today both in Misrata and Tripoli to reduce the tensions in the wake of the Gharghour tragedy and the Misrata pull-out.
More controversy was generated when a member of Congress, Mohammed Busidra went to the TLC for a meeting. On his way back, it has been reported, he tried to speak with the protestors in Algeria Square but was menaced by some of the protestors and obliged to quickly leave the square.
Busidra, however, has denied any such incident taking place. He made a statement through his official social media site and later appeared on a private television channel saying the same. Busidra wrote: “After finishing the meeting with TLC we went to the protestors in Algeria square and they wanted us to withdraw confidence from Prime Minister Ali Zeidan’s government. We listened to all they had to say and then simply returned to Congress headquarters.”
A video has surfaced on the social media in which angry protestors can be heard telling him to leave the square and he does so quickly in a car. [/restrict]