Libya Army Chief: No Control Over Govt-Funded Militias

Military Doesn't Even Know How Many Militias They're Funding

Libyan Army Chief Jadallah Obeidi, in testimony to what remains of the nation’s parliament, conceded today that he has “no control” whatsoever over the various government-funded militias involved in the growing civil war, nor even any clue how many people are fighting.

Militias are chiefly the ones fighting on behalf of parliament’s continued rule, and against Gen. Khalifa Hifter’s ongoing coup attempt, which he is conducting both with his own self-proclaimed army and parts of the Libyan military.

The parliament is said to not be happy with Odeidi’s admission, and there are reports that he could soon be replaced, potentially by Gadhafi defector Saad Qatrani.

With the militias much stronger than the military itself, the Libyan Defense Ministry formed a “Shield Force” that subsidized the militias in 2012, aiming to get at least some loyalty among them, albeit not operational control. They’ve had mixed results, to say the least, though the militias remain parliament’s last real hope to remain in power.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is news editor of