Tripoli protesters demand militias leave town

Reuters reports: Scores of Libyan judges and lawyers protested in Tripoli on Wednesday against lawless behaviour in the capital by former rebel groups, whom they said should now leave the city and return to their home towns.

The disparate militias came together to oust Muammar Gaddafi and have filled the vacuum left by the collapse of his 42-year rule in the capital three months ago. The new interim government is pressuring them now to go home and leave the job of keeping order to the police and a new army it plans to establish.

Judges and lawyers said they decided to protest after an armed militia raided the offices of the prosecutor general on Tuesday.

The crowd of about 250, carrying placards reading “No to weapons; Yes to justice!” gathered outside Tripoli’s courthouse before marching to the central Martyr’s Square.

“We are protesting here to express our shame at what happened yesterday,” said Adel M’salati, a chief judge at the Tripoli court, referring to the attack on the prosecutor’s office.

“These are people who spent time in prisons. They left prison, put on the uniform of revolutionaries and have started to steal in the streets and attack police stations,” he said in a speech to the protesters.

“Now we ask the military to take its place and the police to take their place to provide justice and security for the country and the people,” said M’salati.

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