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

Video Five Patients Given Experimental Ebola Drug Said To Be Improving

Experimental drugs have been tried on six people: three Westerners and now, three African pyhysicians More

Video In Ukraine, Fear and Distrust Remain Where Fighting has Stopped

As Ukrainian military reclaims control of eastern cities residents rebuild their lives, but many say everyone is being treated with suspicion More

Video In Rural Kenya, Pressure Builds Against Female Circumcision

Girls learn to object; FGM practitioners face penalties from jail sentences to stiff fines 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.
Five Patients Given Experimental Ebola Drug Said to Be Improvingi
X
Carol Pearson
August 19, 2014 11:43 PM
The World Health Organization has approved the use of experimental treatments for Ebola patients in West Africa. The Ebola outbreak there is unprecedented, the disease deadly. The number of people who have died from Ebola has surpassed 1,200. VOA's Carol Pearson reports on the ethical considerations of allowing experimental drugs to be used.
Video

Video Five Patients Given Experimental Ebola Drug Said to Be Improving

The World Health Organization has approved the use of experimental treatments for Ebola patients in West Africa. The Ebola outbreak there is unprecedented, the disease deadly. The number of people who have died from Ebola has surpassed 1,200. VOA's Carol Pearson reports on the ethical considerations of allowing experimental drugs to be used.
Video

Video In Ukraine, Fear and Distrust Remain Where Fighting has Stopped

As the Ukrainian military reclaims control of eastern cities from pro-Russian separatists, residents are getting a chance to rebuild their lives. VOA's Gabe Joselow reports from the town of Kramatorsk in Donetsk province, where a sense of fear is still in the air, and distrust of the government in Kyiv still runs deep.
Video

Video China Targets Overseas Assets of Corrupt Officials

As China presses forward with its anti-graft effort, authorities are targeting corrupt officials who have sent family members and assets overseas. The efforts have stirred up a debate at home on exactly how many officials take that route and how likely it is they will be caught. Rebecca Valli has this report.
Video

Video Leading The Fight Against Islamic State, Kurds Question Iraqi Future

Western countries including the United States have begun arming the Kurdish Peshmerga forces in northern Iraq to aid their battle against extremist Sunni militants from the Islamic State. But there are concerns that a heavily-armed Kurdistan Regional Government, or KRG, might seek to declare independence and cause the break-up of the Iraqi state. As Henry Ridgwell reports from London, the KRG says it will only seek greater autonomy from Baghdad.
Video

Video In Rural Kenya, Pressure Builds Against Female Circumcision

In some Kenyan communities, female genital mutilation remains a rite of passage. But activists are pushing back, with education for girls and with threats of punishment those who perform the circumcision. Mohammed Yusuf looks at the practice in the rural eastern community of Tharaka-Nithi.
Video

Video For Obama, Racial Violence is Personal Issue

The racial violence in the St. Louis suburb of Ferguson is presenting U.S. President Barack Obama with an issue to which he has a deep personal connection. To many Americans, Obama's election as America's first black president marked a turning point in race relations in the United States, and Obama has made ending the violence a policy priority. On Monday he issued a new call for calm and understanding. Luis Ramirez reports from the White House.
Video

Video Clinton-Obama Relationship Could Impact 2016 Election

President Barack Obama and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton have a long and complicated relationship. That relationship took another turn recently when Clinton criticized the president’s foreign policy. VOA National Correspondent Jim Malone reports there is renewed attention on the Clinton-Obama relationship as Hillary Clinton considers running for
Video

Video Iran Looks to Maintain Influence in Baghdad With New Shia PM

Washington and Tehran share the goal of stopping Syrian-based militants in Iraq. But experts say it's Iran, not the United States, that will most influence how the new government in Baghdad approaches internal reforms and the war in Syria. VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns has the story.

AppleAndroid