Libyan leaders visit Benghazi
[MAGHAREBIA] Amid mounting concerns about the Tripoli
...a confusing city, one end of which is located in Lebanon and the other end of which is the capital of Libya. Its chief distinction is being mentioned in the Marine Hymn...
government's ability to restore order, Libyan General National Congress President Mohamed Magarief and Prime Minister Ali Zidan visited Benghazi on Friday (February 8th).

The national leaders met local councillors, who voiced frustration at the pace of economic and security improvements in Libya's second largest city.

A number of civil society organizations plan to march this Friday (February 15th) to push for greater federalism, as well as the formation of a 60-member constitution drafting committee.

Activists are also calling for stepping up security, activating the army and police and holding previous governments accountable.

In Benghazi, people are demanding that corporations once based in the city but transferred to Tripoli under Qadaffy -- including the National Oil Corporation, Brega Oil Company and Libyan Airways -- be returned to the east.

On Saturday, a number of Benghazi political parties issued a joint statement criticising the GNC for mismanagement and inaction, and demanding that the government improve security.

Signatories to the statement included the Justice and Construction Party, the Party of Change, the Islamist al-Wattan Party and the National Front.

"Libya needs assistance and expertise in the field of security, since this is one of the biggest challenges facing it at the current stage, agreed Benghazi native Hussein Elmsallati, a 39-year-old anchor for Libya FM Channel.

"I think also that we should co-ordinate with the United Nations
...an idea whose time has gone...
in terms of consultations and programmes on national reconciliation and mechanisms of action for the committees drafting the constitution," Elmsallati added.

...back at the Alamo, Davy was counting their remaining cannon balls and not liking the results...
residents of Benghazi said they hoped that the visit by Zidan and Magarief could lead to change.

"This is a visit to the city where the first spark of the revolution erupted," Nahla Bashir said. "Now, this city is a hotbed of tension."

Posted by: Fred 2013-02-12