By Sami Zaptia.
London, 7 November 2020:
The Tripoli based Libyan Labour Ministry announced Thursday (5 October) that it had discussed with the Defence Ministry and the Libyan Programme for Reintegration and Development (LPRD) the absorption of Libya’s officially recognized ‘‘Supporting Forces’’ (Militias).
Supporting Forces are militias that act independently or semi-independently from the Libyan regular army and police that are under the direct command of the state. The internationally recognized Libyan government relies on consensus and the alignment of shared interests rather than direct command and obedience over these ‘‘Supporting Forces’’.
The LPRD was set up, under its original name of the Warriors Affairs Committee (WAC), specifically after the revolution to reintegrate the fighting militias (warriors) into state institutions and civilian lives.
The Labour Ministry reported that the meeting discussed ways to organize and assimilate the Support Forces, prepare an accurate database, and work to activate the participation of many state institutions in the integration of the Supporting Forces. This included the preparation of a comprehensive vision for integrating the Supporting Forces into state institutions, in coordination with the relevant authorities.
It will be recalled that ever since the end of the 2011 revolution, successive governments have unsuccessfully attempted to reintegrate the country’s militias. This is partly due to the lack of a successful vision and plan for such an effort, partly because of lack of funding and partly because militias have found it more financially and politically profitable to not reintegrate.