Bani Walid, a former Gaddafi stronghold, remains to be ‘liberated’, one year after the capture and murder of the Libyan dictator, the new regime has admitted.
Speaking on Libyan television late on Friday, Libyan leader Mohammed Magarief said the new regime had struggled to impose their authority on a country awash with weapons.
The national congress leader claimed the town of Bani Walid, some 160 kms (100 miles) south of Tripoli, had become a ‘safehaven’ for those who were ‘outside the law.’
He blamed“delays” in the formation of the army and police and the failure to disarm and integrate former rebels for the chaos in Libya.
“The campaign to liberate the country has not been fully completed.
“…the spread of chaos that has lured the old regime to infiltrate the country’s institutions inside and to conspire with the regime loyalists on the outside.
“And the chaos has lured others to kidnappings, stealing, and to create non-legitimate prisons. What has happened in Bani Walid in the last few days falls under this … it has become a safe haven for a large number of those who are outside of the law.”
Militias, aligned with the Defence Ministry, have shelled the hilltop town of 70,000 for several days. Many of those in the militias were from the rival town of Misrata, that are angry at the death of rebel fighter Omran Shaban (pictured above) after two months in detention in Bani Walid.
Shaban, from Misrata, was the man who found Colonel Muammar Gaddafi hiding in a drain pipe in Sirte on October 20, 2011.
Libya’s congress ordered the Defence and Interior Ministries to find those responsible for abducting Shaban and suspected of torturing him to death.
It gave Bani Walid a deadline to hand them over.
Click here for Template report on Gaddafi’s death