Hundreds rally in Benghazi against Libyan militias

April 7, 2012 02:34

BENGHAZI, Libya - Hundreds of people, including police and soldiers, protested in Libya's second biggest city on Friday, calling on militias to lay down their weapons as the government tries to impose its authority on a myriad of armed groups months after the ouster of Muammar Gaddafi.

Chanting "Army and police, we want nothing else" and "No militias, no brigades, one army, one flag", about 300 people took to the streets of Benghazi, including soldiers driving a convoy of about 50 military and police vehicles.

Militias fought to end Gaddafi's 42-year rule, but six months later their heavily-armed units still occupy government buildings and patrol the streets, answering only to their own commanders and flouting the authority of the country's new rulers.

The National Transitional Council (NTC), or interim leadership, wants militias to fuse into the new national police force and army, but so far only a small proportion of the militiamen have joined up.

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