Libyan PM warns: foreign powers will intervene if chaos continues

Libya’s Prime Minister Ali Zeidan speaks during a joint news conference at the headquarters of the Prime Minister’s Office in Tripoli, November 10, 2013. (Reuters)

Prime Minister Ali Zeidan warned Libyans of the possibility of foreign powers intervening unless the country’s current chaos ends, in an appeal Sunday aimed at rallying his campaign against militias, Agence France-Presse reported.

“The international community cannot tolerate a state in the middle of the Mediterranean that is a source of violence, terrorism and murder,” AFP quoted Zeidan as saying.

Citing the example of Iraq, he warned against “the intervention of foreign occupation forces” in Libya.

Zeidan said his country was still subject to a resolution under Chapter VII of the U.N. Charter that allows the international community to intervene to protect civilians.

After ousting regime of Muammar Qaddafi, Libya has struggled to create stability as militias of ex-rebels have carved their own fiefdoms in a country flooded with weapons. The weapons were looted from the arsenal of the former regime.

Zeidan, meanwhile, urged Libyans to rebel against the armed militias.

“The people must take to the streets ... and support the building up of the army and police,” he said.

His calls for support from the public illustrate the inability of the authorities to deal with the militias.

“The state has not been built yet ... we need time,” Zeidan said, adding that measures had been taken to accelerate the training of professional security forces.

In October, a militia group briefly kidnapped Zeidan from his hotel in Tripoli.

In the past week, a string of deadly attacks took place in Tripoli and eastern Libya. Policemen have also been recently targeted by militia in Libya.

On Saturday, a Libyan security official said unknown assailants have gunned down two traffic policemen in the country’s second city of Benghazi, the Associated Press reported.

In the past few months, security in Benghazi has deteriorated. Militants and Islamists were roaming in the city unchallenged.

On Friday, army commanders announced they would no longer tolerate security violations and Special Forces were deployed across the city of 1 million inhabitants.

(With AFP, Associated Press, Reuters)

Last Update: Wednesday, 20 May 2020 KSA 09:41 - GMT 06:41