Friday, November 22, 2019
  • RSS
  • Delicious
  • Digg
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Linkedin
Home » Libya » Joint Communique on Libya

October 2012 

In an effort to disarm the militias at Bani Walid, one of the last major pockets of support for the former Libyan dictator Muammar Gaddafi regime, Libya’s defence ministry readied its forces and allied itself alongside other militias to advance on a town where most of the people are reported to be heavily armed with rocket-propelled grenades, automatic weapons and artillery left over from last year’s eight-month civil war.

Tens of families have been fleeing the town for fear of being caught in an impending battle that could prove fatal.

During last year’s conflict that eventually ousted Gaddafi from power after over four decades, the Bani Walid fighters put up great resistance and were blamed for the worst of the sniper attacks, shelling, and other violence, particularly during the bloody siege on Misurata.

Then last week, the death of Omran Shaaban, the young hero credited with capturing the former Libyan dictator last October prompting calls for revenge after he was kidnapped and tortured by the Bani Walid militiamen.

Omran Shaaban’s death raised the prospect of more score-settling, and on the same day of his death, Libya’s newly elected National Congress authorised the police and army to use force if necessary to apprehend those who abducted Shaaban and three of his companions in July near Bani Walid.

The government had brokered Shaaban’s release and he was transferred to a hospital in France where he died of his wounds. He had been paralysed from the waist down and relatives say that during his 55 days in captivity his chest had been slashed with razors.

At least four residents of Misurata are still being held by the town’s militias, according to local activists.

Witnesses said that on Tuesday three fighters from Misurata were wounded in clashes during a surveillance operation near the town, and there have been reports that families have fled Bani Walid in anticipation of an offensive.

Militia commander Faraj al-Swehli has ordered his Tripoli-based militia, originally from Misurata, to join others who have surrounded parts of the town. They are operating together in a loose coalition of the country’s largest militias known as Libya Shield, which has got the blessing of the defence ministry.

However, the Libya Shield fighters who have been surrounding sections of the town since last week, said in a statement that they will not enter Bani Walid without orders from the military chief of staff Gen. Youssef Mangoush.

The government has given Bani Walid’s leaders until this coming Friday to handover suspects linked to the torture of Shaaban. But many doubt they would do so.

Source: Tripoli Post 

Categories: News, Press

You must be logged in to post a comment.