By Muttaz Ali.
Tripoli, 21 April 2014:
Families of those killed in demonstrations in November in Gharghour against the presence of Misrata forces . . .[restrict]in the capital protested yesterday in Tripoli following reports that Libya Shield forces were on their way to the city.
Videos circulated on social media on Saturday and Sunday had shown Libya Shield forces from Benghazi gathering in Misrata, allegedly en route to Tripoli. A spokesman for Misrata-led Central Libya Shield, Abu Bakr Al-Nimairi, told the Libya Herald that these claims were false. He said the General National Congress had not designated a force for security in the capital and, as such, Central Libya Shield had no intention of entering the city.
However, Nimairi declined to comment of the movements of Eastern Libya Shield adding that his concern was for his own forces.
The reports have sparked anger on the streets of Tripoli where residents fear a repeat of November’s Gharghour attacks. Forty-three were killed and 460 injured in Gharghour when militiamen among the Misratan forces opened fire on demonstrators during peaceful protests.
“We cannot allow such a thing happen again,” Emad Elzandah, a brother of one of Gharghour’s victims said during protests outside Tripoli Local Council yesterday.
Tripoli Local Council, whose leader Sadat Elbadri took a staunch position against the presence of brigades from outside the capital in the aftermath of Gharghour, released a statement on Saturday calling for yesterday’s protests and refusing access to any brigade which tried to gain entry to the city.
On 8 April, the General National Congress (GNC) passed legislation authorising armed brigades to secure national facilities including institutions in Tripoli.
“The GNC have made the right decision to grant the revolutionaries the power to defend the country’s strategic facilities” said GNC member Huda Al-Banani, a member of the Justice and Construction Party which spearheaded the legislation. [/restrict]