TRIPOLI — Prime Minister Ali Zidan opened his press conference here Monday with a statement on the security situation.
With the second anniversary of the 17 February Revolution approaching and the fear that demonstrations against the government and GNC’s ineffectiveness or mass celebrations might be hijacked by troublemakers, the prime minister appeared keen to assure the public.
“I want to assure the Libyan people of safety and security despite all the rumors that they might be hearing. The security situation is good”, Zidan added, standing alongside his Deputy Prime Minister Awad Barasi.
The rumors that Zidan was referring to are mostly posts on social networks by some threatening to come out onto the streets on the Feb. 15 and start a new revolution.
It must be said that over the last week or so local councils, political parties, NGOs, etc, have been queuing up to condemn those who wish to hijack the anniversary celebrations.
They have been keen to stress the right to demonstrate versus the need to not add to Libya’s insecurity by demonstrating and giving troublemakers a platform to cause disruption.
Spelling it out clearly, the prime minister went on to say that “there are those who want to cause disruption and disorder. The security forces will not give them the opportunity to disrupt. The government has taken serious decisions”, he stressed.
Regarding the right to peaceful demonstration, Zidan was clear. “The law allows for peaceful demonstration within the new law organizing demonstrations. We do not want to suppress anyone. The right to demonstrate is guaranteed”.
“We have a security plan,” Zidan emphasized. “Some parts of it were announced and some parts of it are unannounced”, he added, hinting that the government has taken some measures in the background to counter potential troublemakers.
“We are awaiting the GNC approval of the budget so that we can execute government policies” Zidan added hinting of more security measures to come when his government receives a budget.
When challenged by the press for describing the security situation as “good”, Zidan apologized for using the term if it was misleading. He stressed that he was using it “relatively” in view of Libya’s situation. — Libya Herald