Libya militia hands Tripoli airport control to government: Reuters

Posted: April 21, 2012 in Aviation & Airports (General News), Middle East
Tags: , , , , , ,

[Reuters] The Libyan government took control of Tripoli’s international airport on Friday from the militia that has run it since Muammar Gaddafi was deposed last year, an important step in its struggle to assert its authority over numerous armed groups.

The ruling National Transitional Council now faces the challenge of showing it can maintain security and operate the North African country's busiest airport

The ruling National Transitional Council now faces the challenge of showing it can maintain security and operate the North African country's busiest airport

The ruling National Transitional Council now faces the challenge of showing it can maintain security and operate the North African country’s busiest airport, which reopened last November in the hands of the powerful Zintan militia.

“Tripoli airport is now under the government’s control. We have today transferred power to the interior, defence and transportation ministries,” Zintan militia spokesman Adel Salama said in a speech at the handover ceremony.

“We hope the government is able to take on and maintain such an important task.”

Elders and tribal leaders from Zintan, government and military officials gathered at the airport to witness celebrations for the handover, which followed months of argument about jobs and salaries for the militia’s members.

Last time negotiations broke down in March, the head of the 1,200-strong Zintan force, Mokhtar al-Akhdar, stormed out of a meeting and announced he would resign, in a dramatic show of frustration.

Akhdar said the government was not doing enough to provide jobs and security for the fighters who helped topple Gaddafi’s government last year. He was later brought back to take charge again until the handover…..

Read the full story at Reuters…..


By Ali Shuaib
TRIPOLI | Fri Apr 20, 2012


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