Former militias agree to quit Libyan capital after deadly clashes

Former militias agree to quit Libyan capital after deadly clashes
Militia vehicles in Tripoli

Irregular armed groups have agreed to leave Tripoli and be replaced by government forces, the Libyan interior minister Imad Trabelsi said Wednesday. The agreement comes after a series of deadly clashes between the groups, the most recent of which saw 10 people killed over the weekend.

The groups evolved from the numerous militias which proliferated after the overthrow of Muammar Gaddafi in 2011. They are heavily armed and although they receive public funds they are not under the direct control of the central government.

"From now on, their place is in their headquarters," Trabelsi said at a news conference. He added: “After Tripoli, it will be time for the other cities, where there will be no more checkpoints and no more armed groups" on public roads.”

Libya has suffered more than a decade of political instability since the end of the Gaddafi regime. The country is currently divided between an internationally recognized government based in Tripoli in the west led by Prime Minister Adbulhamid Dbeibah and a competing authority in the east underpinned by military strongman Khalifa Haftar who is backed by Russia and the UAE.

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