Election Over, Libyan Militias Still Hunting ‘Gadhafi Loyalists’

Misrata Rebels Prepare to Move Against Bani Walid

We’re now a week into post-election Libya, and we don’t really know what the new Libyan government will look like. This vote count, seemingly cementing Libya as “post-revolution,” comes around the backdrop of Misrata’s military planning yet another offensive against “Gadhafi loyalists.”

After months of score-settling, always done in the context of one side accusing another of harboring secret loyalty, and mass detentions of suspected loyalists, the attacks are still going on, and the Misrata militia, always aggressive, is turning its eye once again toward the town of Bani Walid.

The town of Bani Walid has been sacked a number of times by Misrata and other militia factions, and a tribal faction called the Warfallah Elders Council (WEC), which still flies to Gadhafi-era flag, has held the town since late January.

The latest row centers around the kidnapping of Libyan journalists, with the group that captured them saying they filmed local military areas without permission. Misrata militia head Mohammed al-Swehill issued an ultimatum Wednesday threatening a full attack in the journalists weren’t released in 48 hours. The exact timing of the attack remains to be seen.

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Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is news editor of Antiwar.com.