Heavily armed militias on Tuesday morning took over the building housing the Libyan Ministry of Justice in the capital city of Tripoli, further undermining the authority of the state which is seeking to curb insecurity and instability plaguing the country since the fall of the Gaddafi regime.
The militias have shut down the building after surrounding it with vehicles equipped with heavy weapons.
The seizure of the building comes a day after another group of militias besieged the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
After taking control of the Justice Ministry, the armed militias evacuated the officials of the ministry from the building, according to eyewitnesses.
The militias are said to be aggrieved because of the sack of officials of the former regime from the positions they occupied before the revolution that toppled Mouammar Gaddafi.
Analysts said the occupation of the Ministries of Foreign Affairs and Justice resulted from the inability of the state to impose its authority and recover weapons from militias, 18 months after Gaddafi’s fall.
On Monday, angry police officers besieged the Interior Ministry to demand an increase in their salaries.
In response to these events, Prime Minister Ali Zeidan has said the seizure of government ministries tarnishes the country’s image.
He warned that many countries may be forced to close their embassies in Libya which, according to him, would be detrimental to the interest of Libyan citizens, especially those seeking visas for education or health reasons.
The Prime Minister expressed the government’s determination not to submit to the pressure from the armed groups, and urged his compatriots to support the government.