Western Libya Declared a ‘Military Zone’

Prime Minister: Military Ordered to 'Use Force' Against Violence

Libya’s National Transitional Council (NTC) has declared a portion of the west a “military zone” and has deployed troops to impose a ceasefire, with the use of force, on the militias in the area around Zintan.

Zintan and the neighboring towns have become something of a national embarrassment for Libya in the past week, after the local militia captured a delegation from the International Criminal Court (ICC). At least 16 people have been killed since then.

The ICC’s delegation still hasn’t been freed, with the NTC promising to investigate the Zintan allegations that the delegation tried to pass “banned items,” including a camera, to Muammer Gadhafi’s son, who the militia is also holding.

This is just one of many instances since the NATO-imposed regime change that the NTC is left trying to put nominally allied militias down. In addition to the fights in the west, clashes have been reported across southern Libya over the past several months, with the Tabu tribe even raising the prospect of secession in the region.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is senior editor of Antiwar.com.