Libya PM promises cash to quell discontent

El-Keib says families whose relatives were killed or were still missing in war that ousted Gaddafi to receive monthly aid.

February 19, 2012 02:22
1 minute read.
Libyans protest against NTC in Benghazi

Libyans protest against NTC in Benghazi (R) 311. (photo credit: REUTERS/Esam Al-Fetori )

TRIPOLI - Libya's government will give each family more than $1,500 and pay unemployed former rebels who fought in the war that ousted Muammar Gaddafi last year, the prime minister said, in an attempt to win over those who want faster progress.

In a televised address a day after Libya marked the first anniversary of the start of the uprising, Abdurrahim El-Keib said families whose relatives were killed or were still missing would receive monthly aid but did not specify the amount.

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He said jobless former fighters would receive payment for the past year until the end of the month. He said students would also receive financial grants but did not say how much.

The transitional government appointed in November is leading Libya towards elections in June but is struggling to restore services and impose order on a country awash with weapons.

Together with the self-appointed National Transition Council (NTC), it has been praised for getting many of the ministries up and running and, notably, for drafting an election law for the Libya's first free polls.

But many Libyans thought progress would be faster, and the Defence Ministry and the Interior Ministry are failing to incorporate disparate militias into a police force and an army.

These groups fought hard in the campaign to topple Gaddafi but still refuse to hand in their weapons.

El-Keib reiterated government calls for these fighters to join the national police and security forces.

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