By Libya Herald reporters.
Tunis, 27 September 2017:
UNSMIL’s military adviser, Italian general Paolo Serra has been back in Tripoli to check on any improvements in security ahead of the UN mission’s planned return to the capital.
He met Presidency Council (PC) deputy chairman Ahmed Maetig with whom he also had talks last March. On that occasion he urged more rapid progress with the reestablishment of the police and the creation of the presidential guard.
Hand in hand with this, he said the PC should be persuading militias to hand in their weapons and either join the police or military or return to civilian life. In March Serra urged the PC to set up a mechanism that would make this possible. Six months on, it is unclear if much progress has been made.
Serra is likely to have stressed today that the disarming of militias is a key component of the Libyan Political Agreement (LPA).
Yet the PC’s writ, even in Tripoli, does not appear to run far. Its banning on security grounds of Monday’s Martyrs’ Square demonstration to welcome presidential hopeful Baset Igtet was ignored. However the event went off peacefully because the police and security forces, who had made a big show of closing off the square the night before, did not seek to intervene.