(TRIPOLI, Libya) — By absorbing militias into its army, Libya is taking concrete steps to gain control of paramilitary groups that may have had a hand in the attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi two weeks ago that left U.S. Ambassador Christopher Stevens and three other Americans dead.
There has been a backlash against militias since the Sept. 11 assault, with pro-U.S. demonstrations occurring in Benghazi and other cities.
However, things came to a head late Monday when at the end of 48-hour deadline for militias to disarm, Mohamed Magarief, the head of the newly elected National Congress, announced that there would be new leadership for the Benghazi Islamist militias, Rafallah al-Sahati and the February 17 Brigades.
Meanwhile, a spokesman for Prime Minister-elect Mustafa Abushagur said, “We are now in a process of democracy. The brigades that are voluntarily disarming will receive training and integration into the police and army.”
Nonetheless, it will take more than a decree to bring stability to Libya as government forces in Tripoli came under fire Tuesday by a militia from the city of Misrata. No casualties were reported.
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