By Sami Zaptia.
London, 9 October 2018:
The Tripoli-based Ministry of Interior (MoI), aligned to the internationally-recognized Faiez Serraj Presidency Council and Government of National Accord (PC/GNA), has announced that it has started to implement the newly-agreed “security arrangements”.
More importantly, it claims that “everyone”, which is seen as code for militias, “stressed that they are fully prepared to cooperate with the MoI in order to hand over state institutions in Tripoli.”
The Serraj MoI stated that “following the numerous meetings held by the Presidency Council and the Ministry of the Interior of the Government of National Accord regarding the activation of the security arrangements for Greater Tripoli, the actual and executive steps that would lead to this important step have begun to bring about security and put an end to all negative violations, and ensure state control over sovereign sites”.
In the same context, the MoI added that during these meetings “everyone stressed that they are fully prepared to cooperate with the Ministry of the Interior in order to hand over state institutions in Tripoli, vital facilities in public facilities and their replacement with regular and disciplined police and army forces.”
The MoI said that it has embarked on implementing the security plan approved by the Tripoli Security Arrangements Committee and that it will direct all its agencies to implement the plan, which consists of two stages.
The first stage is to secure the city of Tripoli under the supervision of the Tripoli Security Directorate;
The second stage is to secure the perimeter areas of the capital Tripoli under the supervision of the security directorates located in the perimeter and with the participation of the security agencies of the MoI.
The MoI stressed that, through its security services, it implements all the security arrangements, “which will be reflected positively on the simple citizen.”
It added that “this is the essence of the issue, which is to make the citizen feel stability and security in his home and work, and while moving about”.
It concluded by saying that “any security action can succeed only with the communication of all, with the cooperation of all, in order to reach our national goal of establishing security throughout the beloved country of Libya”.
Time will tell whether Libya’s militias will really give up their power and resultant prestige and wealth. This is not the first attempt by central government to disband Libya’s militias.
All attempts since the 17 February 2011 revolution have failed to empower state insttutions at the direct expense of the irregular militias have failed spectacularly.
The 2014 Tripoli militia coup and the recent south Tripoli militia fighting are a case in point.
Moreover, the Skhirat 2015 Libyan Political Agreement (LPA) which gave birth to the present internationally-recognized PC/GNA, specifically stipulates in its “security arrangements” that militias were to store their heavy weapons outside urban centres and handover security operations to the newly-formed (or reformed) regular police and army forces.
The recent south Tripoli militia fighting has given the attempt to disband or at least reduce the role of irregular militias, with the backing of UNSMIL, a new impetus.