Death Toll Continues To Rise
Deadly fresh clashes have erupted in the eastern suburbs of the Libyan capital, killing 40 people and over 400 were injured.
The fighting erupted between protesters and militiamen across the Libyan capital of Tripoli.
Reports say the incidents began after militiamen opened fire on a large group of marching demonstrators moving toward the headquarters of the Misrata militia.
The country’s leader, Prime Minister Ali Zeidan called for restraint after the violence and called for militants to vacate the capital.
Almost two years since the ousting of former leader Muammar Gaddafi, the north-African country is still engulfed in instability and lawlessness.
The capital city of Tripoli has been targeted by violent clashes between rival militias who still refuse to lay down their arms despite efforts by the new central government.
US Concerned With The Instability
In a press statement, US Secretary of State John Kerry said the US is deeply concerned by the death and injury of many Libyans in recent clashes in Tripoli.
“We condemn the use of violence in all its forms and urge all sides to exercise restraint and restore calm.” – Secretary Kerry
He said Libyans did not risk their lives in their 2011 revolution for this violence to continue.
He encouraged all Libyans to break the cycle of violence through respectful dialogue and reconciliation.
The United States continues to work with the Libyan authorities to build capacity to deliver security and good governance to their people, Kerry said.
“The United States will continue to support the Libyan people at this difficult time.” – Secretary Kerry
Looking Back On Libya’s History
Libya has been engulfed by fighting since a pro-democracy movement opposed to the regime of Muammar al-Qadhafi emerged in February 2011 following similar protests in Tunisia, Egypt and other countries across North Africa and the Middle East.
Hundreds of people have been killed in the fighting and hundreds of thousands of others have been internally displaced or forced to flee to neighbouring countries.
The United States has played a central role in marshalling the international response to the crisis in Libya. Together with its partners, they have saved thousands of lives and helped confront a ruthless, erratic dictator who was poised to slaughter his own people in order to hold on to power.
Muammar Gaddafi was killed in his home town of Sirte on October 2011 when he was overrun by fighters seeking to complete the eight-month uprising.
Gaddafi’s demise marked the end of a 42 year rule of a dysfunctional brutal regime that was ruled by fear, torture and executions. Its mismanagement of the economy brought ruin to Libya and impoverished the Libyan people despite the huge oil and gas wealth.
Unfortunately, Libya is a long way from being considered stable. Just last month, on the anniversary of 9/11, Christopher Stevens, The U.S. Ambassador and three other Americans were killed in Benghazi, in an organized attack on a poorly protected safe house acting as a consulate. Many questions remain, including why the consulate was so poorly protected, why the security contingent had recently been withdrawn by the Administration, and why, when the Administration saw the attack, and the Ambassador was still alive, assistance was withheld.