Another Ministry Seized as Libyan Militias Exert Influence

Fighters Capture Justice Ministry, Force Employees Out

by Jason Ditz, April 30, 2013

Just days after launching a weekend siege on the Libyan Foreign Ministry, Tripoli’s militias are at it again, moving against the Justice Ministry today, surrounding it with armed men and forcing the employees out.

It wasn’t a move from the one to the other, either, the group around the Foreign Ministry is still there, and now they have two ministries surrounded, reflecting the growing influence that unaffiliated militias are having in the capital.

In addition to those ministries, the factions have briefly raided the Interior Ministry, as well as a state-run TV network, and are pressing demands for a law that would ban Gadhafi-era officials from retaining office.

The militias reflect growing unrest in Libya with the sheer number of Gadhafi-loyal bureaucrats that have stayed in power since the NATO-imposed regime change, and the Foreign Ministry appears to have been a particular target since a large number of senior officials are the same people they were pre-revolution.

The move against the Justice Ministry seems to also reflect recent demands by Minister Marghan that the militias hand over all detainees to the ministry by the end of May. Despite the Libyan War being over for quite some time, many of the rebel militias are still holding “loyalist” suspects from the old regime long after the fact, without access to even the iffy courts of the Libyan government.

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