Monday, September 1, 2014

Libyan government admits having lost control of Tripoli

Militiamen from ´´Fajr Libya´´ enjoy their stay at the compound of the American embassy in Tripoli. They plunge from the balcony into the swimming pool. (Still from YouTube video)

Libya's powerless outgoing government admitted Monday from its safe refuge in the east of the country that it has in effect lost control of Tripoli to armed militias. The interim government led by prime minister Abdullah al-Thani, which resigned last week, said armed groups, mostly Islamist militias, were in control of ministries and blocking access to government workers.
"Ministry and state offices in Tripoli have been occupied by armed militias who are preventing government workers from entering and are threatening their superiors," the government said in a statement.
It said the interim government was in contact with officials and "trying to ensure the continuity of services from afar."

The interim government announced last week it had tendered its resignation to the elected parliament, days after a rival Islamist administration was created. The parliament and government are operating out of Libya's east for security reasons. A rival body, the General National Congress, last week named pro-Islamist figure Omar al-Hassi to form a "salvation government".
Interim authorities have been steadily losing ground to the militias and the Fajr Libya (Libya Dawn) mainly Islamist alliance, which seized Tripoli airport on August 22 after weeks of fierce fighting with nationalist rivals.
On Sunday, Islamist militiamen moved into the US embassy compound in Tripoli that was evacuated in late July, with videos showing cheering men diving from an upstairs balcony into the facility's swimming pool.
Fajr Libya members said they had gone in to secure the complex of several villas in southern Tripoli, not far from the airport, to prevent it from being looted.

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