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Libya wrestles with complex issue of how to disarm militia fighters



(10 Dec 2011)
1. Wide of Kotob Brigade headquarters
2. Mid of Kotob Brigade member holding automatic weapon
3. Various of automatic weapons
4. Mid of brigade members
5. SOUNDBITE: (Arabic) Mossab Abdulkader, Kotob Brigade Commander:
“All of the brigades are forming new groups and joining the national army now, but there are some remnants of the previous regime enforcing their ideas on the revolutionary fighters, which we don’t accept. Without mentioning names, we do not accept them at all because our revolution is an honourable revolution that doesn’t accept their orders. We won’t let the opportunists steal the revolutionaries’ sweat and their success.”
6. Mid of brigade member watching the road
7. Close of automatic weapon
8. Mid of brigade members controlling Tripoli traffic
9. Close of automatic weapon
10. SOUNDBITE: (Arabic) Abdulrazig Alaradi, National Transitional Member of Tripoli:
“We demand a deadline to dissolve all of the military councils and the armed militias. As for the revolutionary fighters, we thank you and God bless you, but fighting time is over and now it’s building time. So therefore you will have to finish your involvement in the public institutions and military compounds and hand them over to the Defence Ministry and the Interior Ministry.”
11. Mid of brigade members controlling Tripoli traffic
12. Mid of brigade members standing in the street
13. SOUNDBITE: (Arabic) Moamed Altrabolsi, Elders Council member of Tripoli:
“We say no to the weapons and the chaos and the spread of arms. We want to legitimatise the authorities. The government authorities need to be activated, especially the Interior and Defence Ministries. They are the legitimate bodies in charge of providing security in Tripoli and the rest of the Libyan cities.”
14. Mid of brigade members controlling traffic
STORYLINE:
Groups of armed, self-appointed militias still occupy parts of Libya’s capital Tripoli and some areas of the vast North African desert state despite the civil war ending more than six weeks ago.
Many of the revolutionary fighters that helped topple Moammar Gadhafi’s regime are refusing to hand control to the newly reformed Defence and Interior Ministries and the police.
They’re concerned that the official bodies may be infiltrated by Gadhafi supporters, or opportunists who might hinder the push towards democracy.
Mossab Abdulkader is the Commander of the Kotob Brigade which has stationed itself in Tripoli but whose members come from Alsean, an area 80 kilometres (50 miles) west of the city.
He doesn’t accept the new state institutions. “There are some remnants of the previous regime enforcing their ideas on the revolutionary fighters.”
“We won’t let the opportunists steal the revolutionaries’ sweat and their success,” he added.
Libyan officials have previously warned residents of Tripoli that they have until the end of December to hand over weapons to authorities.
The head of the Tripoli local council has also said that all non-Tripoli brigades in the city must leave by 20 December and that the Tripoli brigade itself will dissolve at the end of the month.
He said that all armed individuals must join security forces under the ministries of interior or defence or “return to civilian lives.”
Most police stations remain closed and many officers complain that the presence of armed militias makes it impossible for them to do their jobs.
The Libyan National Transitional Council (NTC) has been evasive when asked about concerns over the uncontrolled ownership of weapons.
Abdulrazig Alaradi, a National Transitional Member in Tripoli, demanded a deadline “to dissolve all of the military councils and the armed militias.”

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