Libya’s interim government on Friday took control of Tripoli International airport from a coalition of brigades that had been guarding the facility since the liberation of the capital in August 2011.
“The revolutionaries of Zintan announce today that they are handing over the airport to the transitional government of Libya,” Yussef Ibrahim said at the handover, speaking on behalf of the coalition from Zintan which had been guarding it.
The takeover represents a major victory for the interim authorities who have called for the handover of strategic sites which are currently under the control of revolutionary brigades.
Deputy Interior Minister Omar Hadrawi, who attended the ceremony, called the move a “historical turning point, marking a transition from the phase of revolution to the phase of state.”
Transportation Minister Yussef Luheshi, who was also present, told AFP the “government will take over securing the airport.”
The ceremony outside the airport was attended by ministers and senior government officials who presented certificates of recognition to commanders of the coalition of Zintan brigades.
Several other similar revolutionary units and militias of former rebels are still guarding important buildings and facilities in Tripoli.