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Refugees add to Libyan transition woes

May 1, 2012 at 4:39 PM
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TRIPOLI, Libya, May 1 (UPI) -- Interim authorities in Libya need to do more to protect internally displaced refugees from armed militias in the country, an aid official said.

A transitional government was recognized as the legitimate leadership of Libya last year as Moammar Gadhafi's regime crumbled from civil war and a NATO-led intervention.

The United Nations' humanitarian news agency IRIN reports that entire towns were displaced during fighting in Misurata and elsewhere in last year's war.

Muftah Etwilb, chief executive officer of Libaid, the government's humanitarian agency, told IRIN more work is needed to tackle security for displaced refugees threatened by internal conflict.

"It is not exactly a neglected issue but it's not the number one priority in Libya. People also have to deal with security and with the upcoming elections," he said. "But we want to make the IDP issue visible on the day-to-day agenda of the government."

Voter and candidate registration for the Libyan National Congress started Tuesday. The U.N. Support Mission in Libya said elections would be Libyan-led but the mission was there to provide technical support to an electoral committee.

Security and political transition in Libya is threatened by tribal skirmishes and various autonomy bids in the country.

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