The armed men who had been protesting outside the HoR actually tried to storm the building, firing shots into the air, and shouting demands that al-Thinni resign. The government spokesperson said that the men were financed by "corrupted political financiers" linked to powerful local tribal leaders. He did not elaborate or give any more specific information. The session was postponed until next week.
Earlier on local TV, Faraj Akhatabia, a member of the dominant Obiedi tribe in Tobruk, threatened Al-Thinni: “This prime minister must resign, if he doesn’t I will smash his head. Either he leaves or we won’t let the house of representatives stay in Tobruk.” An anonymous security adviser to the government linked the threat to Hassan Tatanaki, a prominent businessman and oil magnate who also belongs to the Obiedi tribe and owns the TV station on which Ahkatabia made the threat. Apparently, Tatanaki wanted to be appointed foreign minister but so far Al-Thinni has not done so. The Tobruk government faces threats not just from the Islamic State and its rivals in the GNC but from local tribes who are unhappy with its performance and are demanding a greater share of power.
In spite of the huge ideological difference between Gadaffi's ideology and that of radical jihadists, the Misratans claim that the strength of the Islamic State comes from former Gadaffi loyalists supplemented by former fighters from Syria and Iraq. While this seems paradoxical it would explain how a former Gadaffi stronghold is now held by the very jihadists Gadaffi himself fought against.
Residents of Sirte feel that they gained little from the revolution. Mohammed Ali a student who lived in a suburb now controlled by IS said: "Before the revolution life was so much better. We had electricity, security. Schools were always open,They (Islamic State) are fine. They leave you alone unless you fight them." The vast ideological difference between the Gadaffi regime and IS just does not seem to register in his mind. Some Gadaffi loyalists it would appear are now keen IS fighters just another bizarre feature of the Libyan conflict.
Some worry that the Islamic State may be smuggling fighters into Europe by blending in among the migrants, a possibility noted by Jens Stoltenberg, NATO's secretary general as he urged action by the EU to stop the flow of migrants. Plans for the mission contained in a 19 page document presented to EU ministers envision four phases culminating in what they call the disruptional phase but only the first phase would be practical without a UN resolution of support.
The European Union executive has also proposed a quota system to house migrants waiting for their asylum claims to be processed. As it is now, some countries especially Germany and Sweden take a major share of the migrants to house while their claims are processed. Britain has rejected any quota. France is against the quotas claiming it has already taken in thousands of refugees.
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Ken is a retired philosophy professor living in the boondocks of Manitoba, Canada, with his Filipina wife. He enjoys reading the news and writing articles. Politically Ken is on the far left of the political spectrum on many issues.
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