Libya NTC Chief: Militias Could Cause Civil War

In Benghazi Speech, Jalil Says Crushing Militias Top Priority

In a high profile speech today in Benghazi, Libyan National Transitional Council chairman Mustafa Jalil warned that Libya faces a civil war, and that crushing the various militias militarily was the only option outside of partition remaining to them.

We are now between two bitter options,” Jalil said, suggesting that the partition would cause a civil war. Given the power of the various militias, attacking them seems like it will end up in a civil war as well.

Libyan military chief Gen. Youssef Mangoush, only appointed days ago, insists that the military is hard at work rebuilding bases and acquiring new weapons, saying it is determined to forcibly disarm the various rebels the NTC once called allies in taking the nation from Moammar Gadhafi.

The militia factions retain control over various regions across Libya, with some controlling major cities like Misrata. Much of the inter-militia fighting is centered around Tripoli, with militias from outside of the city trying to carve out spheres of influence in the capital at the expense of the weaker local militia forces.

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.