Misrata council 'abolished' by city institutions following protests

Misrata council 'abolished' by city institutions following protests
Several city institutions abolished Misrata's municipality council on Tuesday, a statement said, after members refused to resolve protester concerns.
2 min read
22 March, 2017
Protesters demanded an end to the council's misconduct [File Photo: Getty]

Misrata's municipal council in Libya was overthrown by several institutions in the city on Tuesday after days of protests against the council's misconduct, local media has reported. 

Council members allegedly refused to respond to protesters, prompting a number of the city's institutions - including the Misrata military council - to announce its abolishment.

The move was confirmed in a statement signed by the chief of Misrata military council Colonel Ibrahim Bin Rajab, the Union of Revolutionary Fighters, and branches of the city's council and Misrata security.

"Due to the tension in the city, a committee was set up to mediate between the protesters and the municipal council, but the latter refused to meet with the committee without justifications," the statement said.

The municipal council has not yet issued a response to the latest development.

Meanwhile in Tripoli, thousands of Libyans staged mass demonstrations in a rare show of defiance against powerful militias encroaching into Libya's capital, Tripoli, after days of clashes last week.

The protests were met with armed gunmen who opened fire on the demonstrators.

Protesters had gathered earlier at Martyr's Square in the city centre, carrying signs denouncing the presence of militias in Tripoli.

They also called on authorities to re-empower the police and army in order to restore stability in the chaos-ridden country.

"We want a stable Libya, we want our dignity back," said resident Salim Aoun who took part in Friday's protest.

Another demonstrator, Wissam Arab, said Tripoli residents are "tired of these militias" who continue to control the city in defiance of the GNA.

Militias have been key power brokers in a country plagued by violence and lawlessness since the NATO-backed ouster of long-time dictator Muammar Gaddafi in 2011.

The embattled unity government has secured the support of several armed groups, but dozens of militias continue to operate in Tripoli.