Militias Enforce the Law in Libya

    A Libyan fighter from a local militia joins others as they join the Libyan National Army on September 27, 2012 in Benghazi. Libya's new leadership, under huge pressure from the street, has taken steps to tackle militias, but critics warn its decision to only disband some armed groups is dangerous and may backfire. In the wake of massive anti-militia protests and violence in the eastern city of Benghazi, the authorities ordered "illegitimate" brigades be broken up but also warned demonstrators against targeting "legitimate" ones.  AFP PHOTO/ABDULLAH DOMA        (Photo credit should read ABDULLAH DOMA/AFP/GettyImages)

    Abdullah Doma, AFP / Getty Images

    The government in Libya is still struggling to rein in the fractious but powerful local militias that became targets after the killing of American Ambassador Christopher Stevens in Benghazi. While the armed groups have sometimes served as local police forces under Libya’s interim government, they have proven a dangerous nuisance as the United States attempts to hunt down those who killed Stevens and three other Americans. Tens of thousands of Libyans mounted protests last month to spur the government to crackdown on the militias—but militia leaders say breaking up the groups has only led to more local unrest.

    Read it at The New York Times