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article imageLibya protesters demand resignation of NTC, warning of civil war

By Katerina Nikolas     Jan 23, 2012 in World
Benghazi - Libya's interim leader, Mustafa Adbul Jalil, has responded to violent protests demanding the resignation of the National Transitional Council, by saying such a move could lead to civil war.
Angry protesters armed with iron bars and stones, stormed the Benghazi offices of Libya's National Transitional Council (NTC) on Saturday, demanding the resignation of the NTC. The rampage followed weeks of protests over the inclusion of former Gaddafi regime loyalists by members of the NTC, and a lack of transparency on the part of the council.
Abdel Hafiz Ghoga, Deputy Head of the NTC resigned on Sunday in reaction to the scene he faced on Thursday when 4,000 students protested against him at the Benghazi’s University of Ghar Yunis. Alarabiya reported that he was manhandled before fleeing the campus. As he resigned Ghoga said “since the end of the war of liberation an air of hatred had begun to dominate which does not serve national interest.”
Mustafa Abdul Jalil, head of the NTC, sent a warning “We are not going to resign because it would lead to civil war," as he accused “hidden hands” of “pushing the demonstrators."
Although he did not name those he accused, rival militia groups have been vying for power in recent months and the NTC has failed to take control of the situation. This has left many former rebels free to roam round indulging in armed spats with rivals, in addition to persecuting those perceived to be have been loyal to Gaddafi.
According to the Tripoli Post the NTC said "every attack or aggression against the National Transitional Council represents an attack on the sovereignty of the Libyan people and its glorious revolution."
The violent protest followed scenes of angry demonstrations in Benghazi, Tripoli and Sabha on Friday, when militant Islamists demanded sharia law, as Digital Journal reported.
The NTC is due to resign as a governing body once free elections are held in six months. However, it is becoming increasingly unpopular as its legitimacy is questioned by those who accuse it of being opportunistic and self-serving.
More about Benghazi protests, Mustafa Abdul Jalil, national transitional council, University of Ghar Yunis, Abdel Hafiz Ghoga
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