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Libya PM promises families cash

Tripoli, February 19, 2012

Libya's government will give each family more than $1,500 and pay unemployed former rebels who fought in the war that ousted Muammar Gaddafi last year, the prime minister said.

In a televised address a day after Libya marked the first anniversary of the start of the uprising, Abdurrahim El-Keib said families whose relatives were killed or were still missing would receive monthly aid but did not specify the amount.

'The government has decided that each Libyan family will receive 2,000 dinars ($1,540),' he said.

He said jobless former fighters would receive payment for the past year until the end of the month. He said students would also receive financial grants but did not say how much.

The transitional government appointed in November is leading Libya towards elections in June but is struggling to restore services and impose order on a country awash with weapons.

Together with the self-appointed National Transition Council (NTC), it has been praised for getting many of the ministries up and running and, notably, for drafting an election law for the Libya's first free polls.

But many Libyans thought progress would be faster, and the Defence Ministry and the Interior Ministry are failing to incorporate disparate militias into a police force and an army.

These groups fought hard in the campaign to topple Gaddafi but still refuse to hand in their weapons. El-Keib reiterated government calls for these fighters to join the national police and security forces.

Last month, protesters stormed the Benghazi headquarters of the NTC while its chairman was still in the building, demanding the sacking of Gaddafi-era officials and more transparency about how the NTC was spending Libyan assets.

El-Keib also called on religious leaders in the country to help with national reconciliation.
'We must put an end to the culture inherited from the former regime,' he said. 'We must build a new culture.'  - Reuters




Tags: libya | gaddafi | aid | rebels |

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