Protesters Condemn Rebel Troops in Tripoli Rally

Demonstrators Sick of Militias Meddling in Local Affairs

Hundreds of protesters gathered today in the Libyan capital city of Tripoli, calling for the new NTC-led government to do something about the large numbers of rebel militia members roaming the streets and camping out in the city.

The protesters included a number of members of the Tripoli police, who said the rebels regularly used their influence to press local police to release members of their factions who have been arrested.

We want the rebels from outside Tripoli to go,” one protester declared, and protesters added that the factions from Misrata and Zintan are of particular concern. One Misrata rebel, discussing the protests, blamed the problem on “Gadhafi’s fifth column.”

Yet the rebel factions are not only trying to enforce their will on the public, but are fighting amongst themselves, with bloody turf battles breaking out in Tripoli on a fairly regular basis, as the various militias hope to carve out key portions of the city for themselves.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is Senior Editor for He has 20 years of experience in foreign policy research and his work has appeared in The American Conservative, Responsible Statecraft, Forbes, Toronto Star, Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Providence Journal, Washington Times, and the Detroit Free Press.