Hundreds of Libyans have handed over weapons and ammunition to military at different collection points established in the country. These collection points were mainly set up in Libya’s federal capital Tripoli besides Benghazi. A full-fledged campaign is being run in the country for collection of arms and ammunition from people. People are also being urged to disband militias through a campaign. National army is behind the move and officials are largely astonished over the turn out. The army set up camps at Tripoli’s Martyr’s Square and Benghazi’s Freedom Square to collect weapons from civilians.
It may be pertinent to mention here that there was a large spill out of lethal weapons from national arsenal when a campaign was going on in Libya against dictator Col. Muammer al-Qaddafi. A number of militias and civilian population were also provided with sophisticated arms by international community including the US when the uprising against the dictator was at its peak.
Ironically, the weapons collection campaign has been started in the volatile country at a time when the US ambassador to Libya, along with his three other embassy officials, was killed in Benghazi by enraged protesters.
The blasphemous movie, "Innocence of Muslims", outraged Muslims across the globe and incensed protesters in Libya fired a rocket on a vehicle the ambassador and his staff were travelling in.
The euphoria of Libyans is fast fading away, as ouster of the dictator has changed little on the ground. Hundreds and thousands of people celebrated killing of the dictator and hoped that democracy and rule of law would be established soon in the country. They thought that the ouster of Qaddafi would help them install a better government to protect their basic human rights. A large number of people of the volatile country still feel insecure and that’s why they keep sophisticated weapons with them for protection. The transitional government has done little to improve life standard of people and law and order situation, besides establishing the rule of a true democratic government as desired by the people. However, the collection of arms and ammunitions from the people is a big development if the government takes it seriously and continues the process for the next couple of weeks. According to media reports, organizers of the event will raffle off prizes, including two cars, at the end of the day-long collection.
It is hoped that arms collection process will also be taken to other cities, as it should not be a one-off event. The national army should also play an effective role in installing a democratic government in Libya as desired by the people and ensure protection to life and property of each citizen.