The Libyan government has taken back control of its Interior Ministry from an armed group that besieged the building for a week, an official said Wednesday. The group had ordered staff members to leave the ministry on July 2. One of its members had said they would stay until the authorities broke up the Supreme Security Committee, which is composed of militiamen — former rebel fighters from the 2011 war that ousted Col. Muammar el-Qaddafi — who are often better armed and more powerful than the police.
As the United States prepares to send weapons to the Syrian opposition, former Libyan rebels are now going public with the news that they have been doing exactly that for the last year.
"Our Libyan revolution was very much supported by the international community," says a 43-year-old former rebel commander in Benghazi who is in charge of smuggling weapons from Libya to opposition forces in Syria. "But the revolution in Syria seems to have been abandoned by the world. So over a year ago we decided to help and send weapons."
Libyan rebels have long seen their Syrian counterparts as comrades in arms, fighting a similar struggle to rid themselves of a bloody dictator. It helps, of course, that President Bashar al-Assad maintained a close alliance with Muammar al-Qaddafi -- the deposed Libyan leader even broadcast his final messages from a Syrian-based station after he was ousted from Tripoli, the capital. Following Qaddafi's demise, some Libyan fighters traveled to Syria to support the armed uprising, but it may be through supplying weapons once used to topple their own dictator that Libyans make their greatest impact on the struggle against the Syrian regime...........
The Philippines want security beefed up for thousands of expatriates working in Libya, following the thwarted abduction of three nurses.
The three Filipinos were abducted on Monday in Sebha by a Libyan taxi driver. Instead of taking them home, he drove them to the outskirts of town, but all three managed to escape unharmed.....
A mass protest movement similar to the Egyptian Tamarod movement is now petitioning for change in Libya, writes Kamal Abdallah in Tripoli.
It did not take long for Egypt’s second revolution on 30 June to send shockwaves westward into Libya. Many of the political, economic and strategic threads of the political situations in both countries are closely interwoven, which is why Libya is directly affected by events in Egypt — “for better or for worse,” as some political analysts observe — in spite of the considerable differences between the two countries.
However, prospects for a peaceful movement of any sort in Libya seem farfetched at the moment. Weapons of every sort are ubiquitous, and militias are everywhere. Yet, the success of Egypt’s Tamarod (Rebel) movement, which has succeeded in achieving its preliminary aim by initiating a petition drive that helped lead to the 30 June Revolution, has inspired a group of young Libyans to try to emulate this experience in the form of a Rafd (Rejection) Movement in Libya.
Nasser Al-Hawari, director of the Libyan Human Rights Observatory and founder of the Rafd Movement, told Al-Ahram Weekly that “we founded Rafd in late May. We are trying to organise ourselves and promote our aims as effectively as possible in order to rally popular support. In spite of the differences between our aims and demands [and those of Tamarod], dictated by the differences between the situations in Libya and Egypt, Rafd hopes to press its demands in a similar way. This is by mobilising the people to assemble in large numbers in the city squares in peaceful protest demonstrations to demand their rights.”....