Libyan Interior Ministry Claims 70,000 Fighters ‘Absorbed’

Rebel Factions Theoretically Under Direct Ministerial Control

by Jason Ditz, April 24, 2012

A new statement from Libya’s National Transitional Council’s (NTC) Interior Minister claims that the ministry has successfully “absorbed” some 70,000 of the fighters from the last civil war.

This puts the 70,000 theoretically under direct ministerial control, and leaves the NTC responsible for paying them salaries. Officials are presenting this as a move toward law and order in the nation.

In reality, however, the 70,000 is just a drop in the bucket for a nation with myriad factions nominally allied with the NTC but vigorously fighting one another, let alone the growing number of factions that see the post-war NTC absorbing too many Gadhafi remnants and want nothing more to do with them.

Having played a major role in installing the NTC as the de facto government in Libya, many in NATO see themselves on the hook to support the new regime, and this will likely mean much of the “salaries” for these fighters will be foreign aid. Whether these salaries can buy loyalty for the NTC, let alone enough allies to impose calm on the war torn nation, remains to be seen.

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