Libyan leader acknowledges mistakes

AP | Feb 22,2012 | JORDAN TIMES

TRIPOLI — 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 Qadhafi as it struggles to impose control over the oil-rich North African nation.

In a wide-ranging interview Tuesday with the Associated Press, 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 and distrust after more than four decades of Qadhafi’s rule.

Abdul-Jalil said the governing National Transitional Council has made mistakes, but he also criticised former rebels who have formed powerful militias and local governments that have emerged as rivals to the Tripoli-based central government that assumed power after Qadhafi was ousted.

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

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