This week has been marked with sustained unrest in Tripoli focused around the General National Congress (GNC) building with violence and intimidation being aimed at its members. The period has seen the end of the forced occupation by wounded Thuwars of the National Assembly chamber but immediately followed by those seeking to force through the bill on political isolation for former Gadaffi officials and loyalists.
The debates over the bill have been chaotic and marked by violence. It became so bad that Mohamed Magarief’s, (Libya’s interim leader and speaker of the GNC) car was fired upon by proponents of the bill. He was unhurt. This was the same day that a number of GNC (General National Council) members were held hostage for all of the day by armed demonstrators who again were demonstrating in support of the political isolation bill.
This has led to Magarief deciding to suspend full sessions of the GNC stating that they would not allow themselves to be intimidated and pressured by armed demonstrators into decisions. Since then the Ministry of the Interior has announced that it will take control of the security of the GNC.
Separately it has been announced that the Joint Security Force in Tripoli will be conducting a sweep and raids in the outskirts particularly in the west of the city to root out criminal gangs and armed gangs. This has created friction with the Tripoli Militia and revolutionaries who claim to be part of the continuing security of the city and therefore must be consulted and engaged in any such operations. This is yet another illustration of the chaotically dangerous nature of Libya’s security apparatus that requires serious and urgent security sector reform.