Libyan Parliament disbands militias as heavy fighting in Tripoli continues

Newly elected Libyan parliament asks for UN intervention, dissolves militias formerly recognised by previous governments

The newly elected Libyan Parliament disbanded all officially recognised and funded militias formed after the 2011 revolution.

The move followed the parliament’s request to the United Nations for a military intervention to protect civilians amid clashes between rival militias in the country. The lawmakers on Wednesday asked the chairman of the parliament to take the necessary measures to facilitate such intervention.

On Wednesday, a number of persons were killed and at least five civilians were wounded following heavy shelling of several districts in western Tripoli.

The wounded were taken to a private Tripoli clinic while other injured civilians were transferred to the Zawia and Abu Sleem hospitals. The heaviest shelling took place in Ghut Shaal, with hundreds of residents fleeing their houses for fear of the fires and the fighting.

The majority of the shells were reported by locals as being fired from the positions of Misratan-led forces. The Ghut Shaal district largely supports the rival militias group from Zintan in the current conflict.

Missiles also fell on Janzur, Swani Road and Airport Road. The bombardment continued into the early hours of the morning. Libya’s capital Tripoli has been the scene of clashes between rival militias, centered on the city’s international airport that has been closed due to the turmoil since July 13.

The violence has left at least 124 people dead and more than 500 others injured. Officials say the conflict has displaced around 36,000 people who have escaped from the area for safer parts of Tripoli.

Since the fighting began last month, thousands have been displaced in other parts of the country, especially Benghazi, and the government is looking at what it can do to address their needs. The country has been afflicted with continuous power and water cuts, petrol and food shortages and hundreds of residencies in and around the capital have been looted.

The Libya Herald also reported that Western Libya Shield forces had again tried to enter the area around the Warshefana town of Zahra. According to Warshefana sources, three members of Western Libya Shield were killed and 12 others captured.

Earlier, on Wednesday the newly constituted House of Representatives (HoR) approved a law which disbands all officially recognised and funded militias formed after the 2011 revolution, including Joint Operations Rooms.
The law was voted for by 102 out of 104 Representatives and must be implemented by no later than 31 December.

Nearly three years after the fall of dictator Muammar Gaddafi in a popular uprising in October 2011, Libya is still grappling with rising insecurity as the country has been witnessing numerous clashes between government forces and rival militant groups that refuse to lay down arms despite efforts by the central government to impose law and order.