Libya names new head of armed forces

By REUTERS
January 3, 2012 23:40

 
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TRIPOLI - Libya's transitional authority on Tuesday named Yousef al-Manqoush, a retired general from a bastion of rebels who overthrew Muammar Gaddafi, as the new armed forces chief in the first significant move to build a new Libyan military.

The appointment was announced as four fighters were killed in a gun battle between rival militias in Tripoli on Tuesday, underlining the new government's struggle to control the increasingly fractious groups who toppled Gaddafi.

To help reinstate law and order, the interim government plans to include thousands of former rebels in the military, police and other civilian jobs. Some militia chiefs say they would only cede command of their fighters if an organized military and security apparatus were in place.

Manqoush's appointment by National Transitional Council chairman Mustafa Abdel Jalil could pave the way toward forming a structured military. But it is not clear yet whether he would be accepted by militia commanders as the head of the armed forces.

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