Thursday, 8 December 2011

Libya's new cabinet formed

On 4th December, the remaining government ministers were inaugurated into Prime Minister Abduraheem el-Keib's cabinet. Among the new ministers were Defence Minister Osama Juwaili and Oil Minister Abdul Rahman Ben Yezza. (See Libya P&S - 30.11.11 for further details on the task facing the new Oil Minister)

Also taking up his portfolio was Fathi Terbil as the new Minister for Youth and Sport. Terbil – the lawyer representing the families of the Abu Selim prison massacre whose arrest sparked the February 2011 revolution - reportedly told Reuters that he had been unsure about accepting the portfolio. Indeed, the rumours in the previous week suggested that he had resigned before taking up his post. According to the interview, Terbil had initially turned the position down because of his links to the National Transitional Council's (NTC) original Executive Committee. He also told Reuters that family and friends had advised him against taking the post.

Defence Minister Colonel Osama Juwaili, from Zintan, is facing a stiff challenge in drawing up plans to resolve the problems surrounding the country's numerous militias. It is almost universally agreed that it is essential to disarm all the volunteer fighters currently on Libya's streets and to bring both the 50,000 militia men and the various regional security forces under one central control. This challenge does not, however, only fall under his portfolio, and new Interior Minister Fawzi Taher Abdela'ali has suggested that the security forces will involve the assimilation of anti-Qadhafi fighters into both the Interior and Defence forces.

This process has already begun and is being assisted by the French police who have been training former revolutionary fighters. It is rumoured that a policy for completing the process will be announced shortly.

For more news and expert analysis about Libya, please see Libya Focus and Libya Politics & Security.

© 2011 Menas Associates

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