News / Africa

Libya Relocates Parliament After Attack

Men inspect Libya's General National Congress (GNC) building a day after protesters stormed into the building in Tripoli, March 3, 2014.
Men inspect Libya's General National Congress (GNC) building a day after protesters stormed into the building in Tripoli, March 3, 2014.
Edward Yeranian
— Libyan militiamen stormed the country's national assembly overnight, beating and shooting a number of MPs. Both the interim government and U.N. mission in Tripoli are warning militiamen not to resort to violence over political disputes.

Libyan state TV announced the names of six members of the interim national assembly who were wounded when militiamen stormed the assembly's  headquarters. The station showed footage of minor damage to the conference hall, and graffiti on the wall.

One assembly member, Ala'a Magarief, describes what happened during the assault. He said  75-90 assembly members were sitting down and holding their session and within seconds, the hall was stormed without warning.

The Libyan interim government issued a statement on its official website insisting that citizens “have the right to demonstrate and hold peaceful sit-ins,” but that they must “refrain from resorting to violence.” The U.N. mission in Libya (UNSMIS) urged Libyans “not to use violence.”

Libya's defense ministry said Monday that it was “assuring the safety of parliament” and protecting its headquarters. Interim speaker Nouri Bou Sahmein said the body would meet Monday afternoon, but at a different location. Members of the interim government are due to brief the assembly, although Prime Minister Ali Zeidan is on an official visit to Rome.

Al Arabiya TV reported that protesters outside the General National Assembly headquarters “may have resorted to violence after someone set their sit-in camp ablaze.” Amateur video showed a fire burning in a parking lot outside the building and later video of torched vehicles.

Ahmed al Atrash, who teaches political science and international relations at the University of Tripoli, says he's not expecting any serious violence in the country, since everyone is armed and it is in no one's interest to start a conflict.

"Power and guns are not centralized in one hand in Libya," he said. "It's everywhere, you know. There's a kind of balance of power in Libya, now. I mean, everybody is aware of the other. That's what I see even in the Libyan streets. People all have guns, but they don't use [them] that much, because they know that the others might react."

You May Like

China Investigates Former Powerful Security Chief

Former security chief and member of Politburo Standing Committee, Zhou Yongkang, under investigation for suspected 'serious disciplinary violation' More

India, US Look to Reset Ties During Kerry Visit

This week's talks will be first high level interaction between two countries since Prime Minister Narendra Modi took charge More

Video Young African Leadership Program Renamed to Honor Mandela

YALI program, launched by President Obama in 2010, aims to build skills in business, entrepreneurship, public management and civic leadership More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Vietnamese Staging Chinese Product Boycott After Oil Rig Spati
X
Reasey Poch
July 28, 2014 7:18 PM
China recently pulled an oil rig from an area of the disputed South China Sea that Vietnam also claims. Despite the action, the incident has had a lingering effect on consumers in Vietnam. VOA's Reasey Poch reports from Hanoi on an effort to boycott Chinese products.
Video

Video Vietnamese Staging Chinese Product Boycott After Oil Rig Spat

China recently pulled an oil rig from an area of the disputed South China Sea that Vietnam also claims. Despite the action, the incident has had a lingering effect on consumers in Vietnam. VOA's Reasey Poch reports from Hanoi on an effort to boycott Chinese products.
Video

Video ESA Spacecraft to Land on a Comet

After a long flight through deep space, a European Space Agency probe is finally approaching its target -- a comet millions of kilometers away from earth. Scientists say the mission may lead to some startling discoveries about the origins of the water on earth. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Young Africans Arrive in US for Leadership Program

President Barack Obama's Young African Leadership Initiative has brought hundreds of young Africans to the United States for a six-week program aimed at building their knowledge and skills in fields such as public administration and business. Out of the 50,000 young Africans who applied for the program, just one percent was accepted. VOA's Laurel Bowman caught up with some of those who made the cut and has this report.
Video

Video In Honduras, Amnesty Rumors Fuel US Migration Surges

False rumors in Central America are fueling the current surge of undocumented young people being apprehended at the U.S. border. The inaccurate claims suggest the U.S. will give amnesty to young migrants from the region. As VOA's Brian Padden reports from Honduras, these rumors trace back to President Obama's 2012 executive order to halt deportations for some young undocumented immigrants already living in the United States.
Video

Video Students in Business for Themselves

They're only high school students, but they are making accessories for shoes, fabricating backpacks and doing product photography - all through their own businesses. It's the result of a partnership between a non-profit organization that teaches entrepreneurship and their schools. VOA's Mike O'Sullivan and Deyane Moses met the budding entrepreneurs near Los Angeles.
Video

Video Astronauts Train in Underwater Lab

In the world’s only underwater laboratory, four U.S. astronauts train for a planned visit to an asteroid. The lab - called Aquarius- is located five kilometers off Key Largo, in southern Florida. Living in close quarters and making excursions only into the surrounding ocean, they try to simulate the daily routine of a crew that will someday travel to collect samples of a rock orbiting far away from earth. VOA’s George Putic has more.

AppleAndroid