News / Middle East

    Libyan Parliament Challenges Militias, Seeks UN Aid

    Lawmakers from Libya's newly-elected parliament are seen assembled in Tobruk, Aug. 2, 2014.
    Lawmakers from Libya's newly-elected parliament are seen assembled in Tobruk, Aug. 2, 2014.
    Reuters

    Libya's parliament on Wednesday voted to disband the country's militia brigades and called on the United Nations to protect civilians in an effort to end the worst fighting between armed factions since the 2011 fall of Moammar Gadhafi.

    Lawmakers appeared to be seeking to strip brigades of former rebel fighters of the legitimacy they claim from the previous parliament and government ministries, and loosen their grip over Libya's fragile democracy.

    But with Libya's army still in formation, it was unclear how the new Congress would enforce its decision. Composed of ex-rebels who once fought Gadhafi, the brigades are heavily armed and allied with powerful political factions.

    For more than a month, two rival brigades have battled with rockets and artillery, turning southern Tripoli in a battlefield and forcing the United Nations and Western governments to close their embassies and evacuate diplomats.

    One lawmaker said parliament's decision would include the Libya Shield brigades tied to Misrata city and their rivals, the Qaaqaa and al-Sawaiq brigades allied with Zintan city, who have been fighting over Tripoli airport for a month.

    The two sides once fought together against Gadhafi's forces but their rivalries erupted into street battles over the airport last month, killing more than 200 people.

    A United Nations delegation has been seeking to broker a ceasefire between Zintan and Misrata forces who are dug in around Tripoli International Airport and exchange daily volleys of rockets and artillery fire.

    At least five people were killed and families were forced from their homes when Grad rockets hit neighborhoods in western Tripoli during clashes between rival armed factions, officials and witnesses said on Wednesday.

    Western partners, fearing Libya will slide into a failed state just across the Mediterranean from mainland Europe, have been frustrated by factions whose loyalties are often tied to cities, regions and former commanders rather than the state.

    U.S. and European officials hope the new parliament can be a space for dialogue among the warring factions. But there is little appetite among Western governments for on-the-ground intervention in Libya beyond cajoling the sides into talks.

    You May Like

    Self-doubt, Cultural Barriers Hinder Cambodian Women in Tech

    Longtime Cambodian tech observer Sok Sikieng says that although more women have joined profession in recent years, there remain significant factors hindering women from reaching tech potential

    Trans-Adriatic Pipeline to Boost European Energy Security

    $4.5 billion-pipeline will become operational in 2020 and will deliver gas from Azerbaijan’s Shah Deniz II field to southern Italy

    Video California Celebration Showcases Local Wines, Balloons

    Annual festival showcases the region's harvested agriculture, fine wines and offers opportunities to experience the gentle breeze in a hot air balloon flight

    This forum has been closed.
    Comment Sorting
    Comments
         
    by: Martin D. from: California
    August 14, 2014 7:32 AM
    yeah, we give them "aid" (money) and they use it to commit atrocities... look at Gaza and the Philistines... the whole UN has effectively become the ambassadors of the Philistines... with Billions of Dollar of investment and "education" where did it get us..?? terror tunnels... rockets... gang rapes of girls who laugh out laud... child suicide murderers... What the hell are we doing to ourselves..??

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Vietnamese-American Youth Optimistic About Obama's Visit to Vietnami
    X
    Elizabeth Lee
    May 22, 2016 6:04 AM
    U.S. President Barack Obama's visit to Vietnam later this month comes at a time when Vietnam is seeking stronger ties with the United States. Many Vietnamese Americans, especially the younger generation, are optimistic Obama’s trip will help further reconciliation between the two former foes. Elizabeth Lee has more from the community called "Little Saigon" located south of Los Angeles.
    Video

    Video Vietnamese-American Youth Optimistic About Obama's Visit to Vietnam

    U.S. President Barack Obama's visit to Vietnam later this month comes at a time when Vietnam is seeking stronger ties with the United States. Many Vietnamese Americans, especially the younger generation, are optimistic Obama’s trip will help further reconciliation between the two former foes. Elizabeth Lee has more from the community called "Little Saigon" located south of Los Angeles.
    Video

    Video First-generation, Afghan-American Student Sets Sights on Basketball Glory

    Their parents are immigrants to the United States. They are kids who live between two worlds -- their parents' homeland and the U.S. For many of them, they feel most "American" at school. It can be tricky balancing both worlds. In this report, produced by Beth Mendelson, Arash Arabasadi tells us about one Afghan-American student who seems to be coping -- one shot at a time.
    Video

    Video Newest US Citizens, Writing the Next Great Chapter

    While universities across the United States honor their newest graduates this Friday, many immigrants in downtown Manhattan are celebrating, too. One hundred of them, representing 31 countries across four continents, graduated as U.S. citizens, joining the ranks of 680,000 others every year in New York and cities around the country.
    Video

    Video Vietnam Sees Strong Economic Growth Despite Incomplete Reforms

    Vietnam has transformed its communist economy to become one of the world's fastest-growing nations. While the reforms are incomplete, multinational corporations see a profitable future in Vietnam and have made major investments -- as VOA's Jim Randle reports.
    Video

    Video Qatar Denies World Cup Corruption

    The head of Qatar’s organizing committee for the 2022 World Cup insists his country's bid to host the soccer tournament was completely clean, despite the corruption scandals that have rocked the sport’s governing body, FIFA. Hassan Al-Thawadi also said new laws would offer protection to migrants working on World Cup construction projects. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
    Video

    Video Infrastructure Funding Puts Cambodia on Front Line of International Politics

    When leaders of the world’s seven most developed economies meet in Japan next week, demands for infrastructure investment world wide will be high on the agenda. Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s push for “quality infrastructure investment” throughout Asia has been widely viewed as a counter to the rise of Chinese investment flooding into region.
    Video

    Video Democrats Fear Party Unity a Casualty in Clinton-Sanders Battle

    Democratic presidential front-runner Hillary Clinton claimed a narrow victory in Tuesday's Kentucky primary even as rival Bernie Sanders won in Oregon. Tensions between the two campaigns are rising, prompting fears that the party will have a difficult time unifying to face the presumptive Republican nominee, Donald Trump. VOA national correspondent Jim Malone has more from Washington.
    Video

    Video Portrait of a Transgender Marriage: Husband and Wife Navigate New Roles

    As controversy continues in North Carolina over the use of public bathrooms by transgender individuals, personal struggles with gender identity that were once secret are now coming to light. VOA’s Tina Trinh explored the ramifications for one couple as part of trans.formation, a series of stories on transgender issues.
    Video

    Video Amerikan Hero Flips Stereotype of Middle Eastern Character

    An Iranian American comedian is hoping to connect with American audiences through a film that inverts some of Hollywood's stereotypes about Middle Eastern characters. Sama Dizayee reports.
    Video

    Video Budding Young Inventors Tackle City's Problems with 3-D Printing

    Every city has problems, and local officials and politicians are often frustrated by their inability to solve them. But surprising solutions can come from unexpected places. Students in Baltimore. Maryland, took up the challenge to solve problems they identified in their city, and came up with projects and products to make a difference. VOA's June Soh has more on a digital fabrication competition primarily focused on 3-D design and printing. Carol Pearson narrates.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora