Libya to strengthen Benghazi security
[MAGHAREBIA] Libyan Prime Minister Ali Zidan held a presser in 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...
on Wednesday evening (January 16th) upon his return from a visit to Qatar. He expressed his sadness for the recent events in Benghazi and elsewhere.

"We're taking steady steps to restore the prestige of the State by strengthening the national army and interior ministry," Zidan said. "These efforts are infuriating those who don't want to see security and safety established in Libya."

The premier noted that over 18,000 people joined the police force.

Following the liquidation attempt on Italia's Consul Guido De Sanctis on Tuesday, the interim government is considering imposing a curfew in Libya once the General National Council (GNC) approves the measure. The Minister added that coppers would be deployed in greater numbers across Libya, but especially in Benghazi.

"We are discussing with the GNC about a curfew in Benghazi and maybe other cities, and no decision has been made on a partial curfew covering only certain areas, but it was very probable," Zidan told journalists, AFP reported.

"Benghazi won't be a military zone, and we don't have the intention to do that," he added. "No decision has been taken in this regard. Benghazi would stay with its wonderful civilian spirit, but security will be established soon there."

The Libyan government named Major General Khalifa Haftar the new military ruler for Benghazi, Zidan noted.

De Sanctis left Benghazi and the Italian government temporarily closed its consulate in Benghazi and pulled its staff out of the country. The latest attack on De Sanctis is part of a series of attacks on foreign diplomats. US ambassador Christopher Stevens and three other US officials died in the September attack on the US consulate in Benghazi. Last June, a rocket-propelled grenade struck a convoy carrying the British Ambassador to Libya, wounding two bodyguards.

On Tuesday, Deputy Prime Minister Awad Barasi met with Italia's Ambassador Giuseppe Buccino Grimaldi in Tripoli. The two sides discussed bilateral relations. Dr. Barasi apologised on behalf of the interim government for the Benghazi incident and promised to beef up security measures for the Italian consulate.

The Italian ambassador promised to re-open the Italian consulate soon. However,
Switzerland makes more than cheese...
the security situation in Benghazi remains uncertain.

Posted by: Fred 2013-01-18