Libyan women hold pictures of Libyan leader Moamer Kadhafi in Tripoli on March 19, 2011 during a protest against the UN Security Council Resolution 1973 which authorise all necessary measures to establish a no-fly zone which resulted in regime-change., a photo by Pan-African News Wire File Photos on Flickr.
Gaddafi daughter urges Libyans to revolt against new rulers
Aisha Gaddafi, daughter of Libya’s late leader Muammar Gaddafi, has urged Libyan people to overthrow the new government which came to power “with the planes of NATO,” CBS News reported.
"My father has not left, he is always among us," CBS News cited her audio message broadcast on Syria's al-Rai television station on Tuesday.
“Do not forget the orders of your father urging you to continue fighting, even if you no longer hear his voice," Aisha said.
Gaddafi, who had ruled the country for almost 42 years, was captured and executed by rebels near his home town of Sirte in late October.
Aisha, her mother, Sofia, and brothers Hannibal and Mohammed, accompanied by their children, crossed the border into Algeria on August 29 after the fall of Tripoli. Aisha delivered a child in an Algerian clinic hours after crossing the border.
Aisha could face extradition for her statements, as she and her family members have vowed not to make any public appeals after receiving humanitarian refugee status in Algeria, CBS News said.
Libya's National Transitional Council has repeatedly demanded that members of Gaddafi’s family be extradited to Libya from Algeria to stand trial.
Ten killed in Libya arms depot blast
Tue Dec 6, 2011 5:8PM GMT
An explosion in an ammunition storage has left at least 10 people dead in central Libya, a Libyan military official has said.
The blast happened in Waddan neighborhood of Tripoli late Monday when someone lit a cigarette at the facility, Head of Waddan Military Council al-Senussi al-Tayeb said on Tuesday.
Seven Africans were among those killed in the blast, DPA reported.
The United Nations has repeatedly warned Libyan interim rulers that some weapons depots have not been secured properly and arms were being smuggled out of the country.
The Libyan government has promised to disarm Tripoli by the end of December.
In October, Libyan leaders ordered all heavy weapons to be removed from Tripoli, warning that their prolonged presence risked giving a bad image of the revolution which toppled dictator Muammar Gaddafi.
UN extends mission in Libya by three months
Security Council says it wants to help new government tackle flood of arms in country
UNITED NATIONS — The Security Council has extended the U.N. support mission in Libya for another three months to help the new government tackle a flood of arms in the country.
The mission was initially established to support Libya's transitional government following months of conflict that ended when Moammar Gadhafi's regime was toppled.
Libya's interim government was sworn in late last month.
Initially charged with helping draft a constitution and prepare for elections, the U.N. mission is now also tasked with helping eliminate a proliferation of arms, especially portable surface-to-air missiles.
Tunisia closes second border posts with Libya: source
(AFP) TUNIS — Tunisia on Friday closed the second main border post into Libya following attacks on Tunisians on the Libyan side, a security source said two days after the first closure.
The decision to close the Dehiba post "follows information of attacks on Tunisians in the Malout region of western Libya", said the source, cited by the Tunisian TAP news agency.
"Only Tunisians and Libyans returning home will be allowed to cross, until solutions are found with the Libyan authorities," he added.
The Dehiba border crossing has become congested since the closure of the main checkpoint at Ras Jdir on the Mediterranean coast after armed and unarmed Libyan nationals threatened Tunisian border guards.
In one instance a Libyan shot and wounded a Tunisian customs official as he forced his way across the border.
The Ras Jdir crossing closed Wednesday after the Tunisians manning it stopped work in protest against the lack of protection.
On Thursday Tunis voiced its "deep concern" at the border incidents and called on Tripoli to manage its side of the crossing with "professional forces".
Such incidents have led to lengthy delays at the Ras Jdir border, with the queue sometimes stretching for kilometres.
Millions of Libyans visit Tunisia to see relatives, many of whom fled the country before the collapse of Moamer Kadhafi's regime.
Abdelhakim Belhaj Apologizes for Disorder Caused at Ras Ajdir Border Crossing With Tunisia
Houda Mzioudet | 04 December 2011
The Commander of the Tripoli Military Council, Abdelhakim Khwildi Belhadj, has expressed his deep regret for the ongoing chaos at the Ras Ajdir border crossing with Tunisia and has vowed that order will soon be restored at the strategic outpost.
“We are very sorry for what happened recently at the border crossing of Ras Ajdir. We strongly condemn any attack that violates the sanctity of Tunisian soil and could affect the relations between both our peoples,” said Belhaj.
“The Ras Ajdir border crossing has been a vital facility for both Tunisians and Libyans for many years. We must act quickly to end the disorder that has been caused,” Belhaj added.
According to Belhaj, the Tripoli Military Council is holding sessions with chief officials in the Libyan government to address the issue as quickly as possible and to stabilize the border area with Tunisia.
Balhaj announced that the the Libyan Ministries of Interior and Defense are working towards the formation of a committee of defense and crisis solving. This committee will be charged with finding a quick solution to, “the excesses of some of the Libyan rebels at the Ras Ajdir border crossing in the next few days,” Belhaj stressed.
Both ministries will coordinate the administration of the border area of Ras Ajdir by delegating its management to specialized authorities within the police, customs, and passport control. According to Belhaj, some Libyan rebels will be called upon to help in the restoration of order and organization along the border areas with Tunisia.
Belhaj expressed that he values Libya having good relations with its neighbor Tunisia, and offered his gratitude for the Tunisian people’s support of the Libyan popular protests – which led to the ousting and killing of former Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi in October 2011.
The Ras Ajdir Border Crossing
According to a Tunisian national guard officer posted in the area, the situation at the Tunisian-Libyan border crossing of Ras Ajdir has been improving, following recent attacks by smugglers directed at Tunisian border officials stationed in the area.
Although calm has been restored, the crossing remains closed to traffic on both sides of the border – except in emergency circumstances. The officer stated that he had heard news of a decision from the Libyan National Transitional Council to appoint uniformed officers at Ras Ajdir in an effort to improve the organization of the border crossing.
Between the night of Friday, December 2nd and the early hours of Saturday, December 3rd, 2011, shots were heard in the Saharan zone of Sidi Touay in the vicinity of the Tunisian-Libyan borders. The incident involved a squad of customs guards and Libyan cars, who allegedly sought to cross Tunisian-Libyan borders illegally.
According to Tunisian customs’ sources, the squad noticed the presence of cars attempting to cross the borders while patrolling at Sidi Touay. Subsequently, shots were fired in the direction of the approaching squad. Customs guards then tried to apprehend the vehicles’ passengers, however they managed to escape to Libyan soil.
Rival militias wage turf war near Libyan capital
Sat, Dec 3 2011
By Christian Lowe and Taha Zargoun
JANZOUR, Libya (Reuters) - One local official was killed and a militia base reduced to ruins in a clash between rival armed groups near the Libyan capital, the latest flare-up of tension between militias that is destabilising the new Libya.
Two months after Muammar Gaddafi was killed, Libya's new government is still unable to impose its authority on the ground, leaving security in the hands of militias which answer only to themselves and often wage turf wars with their rivals.
The violence in Janzour, a town about 17 km (10 miles) west of the capital, demonstrated that these militias remain the biggest threat to Libya's security despite attempts by the newly-formed interim government to get them under control.
The incident began early on Friday morning, when Ashraf Abdelsalam Al-Marni Swayha, deputy head of the Janzour military council, approached a checkpoint in the town with his driver.
The checkpoint was manned by a militia unit made up largely of fighters from Zintan, a city in the mountains south-west of Tripoli. Zintan fighters played a big role in ousting Gaddafi and have stationed themselves in towns around Tripoli.
According to Abdelnasser Frandah, head of the local council in Janzour, when the fighters at the checkpoint stopped Swayha's car, he told them he was deputy head of the local militia.
"They answered him: 'We do not care about the Janzour military council.' He ordered his driver to go and they started shooting at him," Frandah told Reuters on Saturday. "He fell as a martyr and the driver was slightly injured."
His account of the incident could not be independently confirmed. The funeral on Saturday of Swayha turned into a show of force by the Janzour militia. About 500 people turned up for the burial, many of them carrying weapons.
As the casket was lowered into the ground, an honour guard of three men in combat fatigues fired into the air from automatic weapons, while other fighters fired a salute from anti-aircraft guns mounted on two pick-up trucks.
Local people said that soon after Swayha's shooting, Janzour residents had gone to the headquarters of the Zintan fighters, a building that used to be an office of Gaddafi's secret police, and ransacked it.
There was no sign of Zintan fighters on Saturday. The burned-out hulks of two jeeps stood outside the former headquarters, and another five vehicles inside the compound had been destroyed. One wrecked car was still hot from the fire.
The attackers had also set fire to mattresses inside the guardhouse. Inside the main building, they had started a fire in one office, leaving the corridor stained black from the smoke.
Frandah said he wanted the Zintan fighters gone for good.
"These are revolutionary fighters, we do not want to say anything against them, but the reality is that some of them are outlaws," he said. "We are surprised that after liberation (from Gaddafi's rule) we have become captive to these brigades. If we describe it as an occupation we would not be exaggerating."
"They fire randomly into the air, they randomly take up positions at government facilities and homes and farms," he said. "They must go back to their homes and families and they must take charge of security in their own areas so that what happened here will not happen again."
In a report released last week, the United Nations identified Libya's disparate militias as "a major challenge continuing to face the National Transitional Council," the interim leadership which replaced Gaddafi.
There have already been several outbreaks of fighting among the militias. Last month, rival fighters attacked each other with rockets, mortars and machine guns in four days of fighting. They were disputing control of a military base on the main highway between Tripoli and Tunisia.
About a week later, several people were killed in a gunfight after a militia from a district of Tripoli drove into the town of Bani Walid, south-east of the capital, and tried to arrest a local man.
Following those incidents, the transitional council convened tribal leaders at a conference aimed at reconciling rival groups. But the latest violence in Janzour suggests that the conference did not work.
Even at Saturday's burial there was a reminder of Janzour's uncomfortable co-existence with militias from out of town. On a wall near the cemetery, someone had scrawled, in large black letters: "Zintan. Land of the brave."