Libya’s regional militias are fighting one another, leading to a mutual distrust that will pose a challenge to the new leadership, reports CNN.
The rivalry became evident when fighters clashed at a Tripoli hospital, reports CNN. The battle, which occurred at 2 a.m. Monday, was the biggest armed confrontation in the capital in weeks, according to residents. About a half dozen former rebels from Zintan city in the western mountains stormed into the hospital, said doctors.
Some of the former rebels were drunk and wanted staff to hand back a wounded fighter who had been shot earlier in the day, said the doctors. The former rebels wanted to kill the wounded man, but hospital staff declined to hand over the patient.
After fighters in charge of the Tripoli hospital threw out the former rebels, both groups called for backup, and fighting continued around the hospital grounds until 5 a.m.
According to witnesses, both sides used heavy machine guns and anti-aircraft guns. […]
“Rivalry between brigades from different cities has not been resolved and it does now pose a threat to Libya’s security,” said Peter Cole, a Libya analyst with the International Crisis Group.
“This suggests that the National Transitional Council needs to work harder with the militia groups to bring unity among them.”
The Associated Press reports that the U.N. has said it is ready to help Libya in its transition to democracy, including police training, preparations for elections and the drafting of a constitution.
FULL ARTICLE (GlobalPost)