Libya parliament votes for foreign intervention

Libya's parliament on Aug. 13 passed a measure calling for foreign intervention to protect civilians from deadly clashes between rival militia groups. MPs were meeting in the eastern city of Tobruk because of violence in the capital Tripoli and the second city Benghazi. The resolution, which passed by 111 out of 124, calls on the "United Nations and the Security Council to immediately intervene to protect civilians and state institutions in Libya." The body also voted to formally disband Libya's militia brigades left over from the 2011 revolution that have yet to be incorporated into a regular army. Fighting between the rival Zintan and Misrata militias for control of Tripoli's airport left over 200 dead last month. (AFP, Aug. 14; BBC News, Aug. 13) Libya's caretaker prime minister, Abdullah Thinni, meanwhile issued a statement assuring that all of the country's oil ports are still under the "control" of the central authorities—a clear sign of fears that they aren't. (Libya Herald, Aug. 14) On the day before the parliament vote, Col. Mohamed al-Suwaisi, head of the Tripoli Security Directorate, was assassinated while his car waited at an intersection after leaving a meeting with police commanders in Tajoura, a suburb of the capital. (Libya Herald, Middle East Eye, Aug. 12)