Fighters from multiple Libyan militia factions engaged in a gunbattle today in the capital city of Tripoli, fighting in front of the hotel hosting the National Congress meeting after a dispute among different protesting groups.
Tempers are flaring among the militias today as the government looks to take formal military control over them, and many of the factions that were involved in last year’s civil war complain that they’ve gone “underappreciated” in recent months.
For well-connected factions the order is something to be ignored, but for those in less cushy positions with the winning politicians in the last election this has been an opportunity for a full scale military crackdown.
The order to bring militias under regime control came in the wake of the US Benghazi Consulate attack, which was initially blamed on one of the militias, Ansar al-Sharia Benghazi (ASB). Officials now concede they don’t have any proof of this allegation, and since ASB’s headquarters was burned by pro-regime demonstrators they are not likely to find any.