The recent militia movement against various Ministries is apparently generating strong opposition from the Libyan people, who recognize this as an attempt to exert some political muscle by the militias, and to assert their authority with the central Government. Libyans from the area around the affected Ministries have joined together to protest against the blatant use of armed force to compel the General National Congress (GNC) to support the new legislation, which would oust any current government official who was formerly associated with the Gadhafi regime.

On May 2 over 200 Libyans joined together at Tripoli’s Martyrs’ Square to march from there to Algeria Square and back. The message conveyed by this march was the disappointment and opposition to the militiamen who raised arms to force the GNC to adopt the new Political Isolation Law.

One member of the protestors summed up the general feelings when he noted that the Libyan people want these militiamen to stop taking the law in their own hands, and to join the army and police force instead. Members of the march held signs reading “Yes for peaceful demonstrations, no for armed ones”, or “Yes for the Ali Zeidan Government”.

Some members of the crowd expressed their concern for foreign intervention if the security situation in Tripoli did not improve. They too called upon the militias not to take the law in their own hand, and to restore stability in the city.

By the end of the evening the protests against the militias’ actions were still going strong, with reports from social network sites that more neighboring cities were planning to come into Tripoli to join in the protest, and to prevent forcing the GNC to adopt any laws.

The ALCCI is very heartened to see that the action by these militias continues to generate protest and opposition by average Libyans. While we understand the desire for accountability by members of these militias, it is former critical to keep experienced bureaucrats in place, who have the knowledge and expertise to ensure the Government is able to continue to accelerate the development of the economy, and to provide security and good jobs to the militia members, as well as to all levels of Libyan society.

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