Dozens of Libyans on Monday rallied against a coalition of former rebels who have bunkered in a school in the capital, detained people and refused to answer to interim authorities.
“We want all the militias to leave Tripoli and for this site to be handed over to the authorities,” said Um Ahmed pointing to the Girls Military College which has become the barracks to some 47 brigades of former rebels.
Some protesters praised the militias for the fight they put up to bring down last year the regime of Moamer Kadhafi but said it is time they come into the fold of the new government.
“We recognize these brigades as sons of Libya and thank them for freeing the country but they must become part of a state of law,” said English-language teacher Rima Zarig.
Rights groups have repeatedly warned that out of control militias pose the greatest challenge to order and stability in Libya which is seeking to build state institutions from scratch after decades of dictatorship.
The interim government has tirelessly urged revolutionary brigades to go home if they do not want to join the army under the ministry of defence or state security forces under the ministry of interior.
That call has only recently been acknowledged by militias who control sensitive sites in Tripoli and across the country. Aggravating tensions in the capital is the fact that many in these militias come from other cities.
The government has urged citizens to stand up to “pseudo-revolutionaries.”