Libya: Corruption 'will last years'

Click to follow
The Independent Online

Libya's leader has acknowledged that his transitional government is powerless to control militias that are refusing to lay down their arms after ousting Muammar Gaddafi.

Mustafa Abdul-Jalil warned that remnants of the former regime also still pose a threat and it will take years for Libya's new leaders to overcome a "heavy heritage" of corruption.

He said the governing National Transitional Council (NTC) had made mistakes, but he also criticised former rebels who have formed powerful militias and local governments that have emerged as rivals to the central government.

"Both are to blame," he said. "The governmental programme to integrate the militias is slow and the revolutionaries don't trust it."

Libya is celebrating the first anniversary of the start of the revolution, when peaceful anti-government protesters took up weapons in the face of a crackdown by Gaddafi's forces. Although the country declared liberation after Gaddafi was captured and killed in October, it has been plagued by revenge attacks by those who suffered at the hands of Gaddafi's forces during the brutal civil war.

Mr Abdul-Jalil, 60, who has led the NTC since it was formed in opposition, said Libyans needed years to overcome a culture of corruption and mistrust, and to build state institutions and the rule of law.