Libya orders disbanding of 'illegitimate' militias - Fox News
Libyan President Mohammed el-Megaref has ordered the disbandment of illegitimate militias, giving the armed groups 48 hours to evacuate military compounds and state property, Reuters reports.
Megaref, in a late Saturday news conference, said a joint operations room in Benghazi will coordinate between the various authorized militia brigades and the army. He said others operating outside the "legitimacy of the state" are to be disbanded.
The decision came amid growing public anger at armed factions and Islamic extremists, resulting in the storming of some of their compounds by protesters.
According to Reuters, the announcement came after the Islamist Ansar al-Sharia militia was swept from its Benghazi bases on Friday in a surge of anger against the armed groups that still control large parts of Libya more than a year after the overthrow of Muammar Qaddafi.
The army ordered "all individuals and armed groups occupying military compounds, public buildings or property belonging to members of the former regime to evacuate these sites within 48 hours," threatening to use force if the groups did not comply, the LANA news agency said, according to Reuters.
On Saturday, two Islamist militias in the town of Derna, long seen as an Islamist stronghold, announced they were evacuating their compounds, residents said.
Libya's new rulers have struggled to impose their authority on the armed groups that have so far refused to lay down their arms, and in fact rely on many of them to keep order, Reuters reports. The Associated Press contributed to this report.