Remember Libya? Obama may want us to forget what happened there before too long. Rival militias are shooting at each other as the new government is powerless to stop the violence.
Clashes erupted Tuesday in Libya's capital between militias from Tripoli and Misrata, killing four people, officials said.
The clashes were over control of a building that previously housed an intelligence center under former Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi, said Col. Abdul Monem al-Tunsi, spokesman for the Interior Ministry. However, former rebels in Tripoli provided different, and conflicting, accounts of what caused the fighting -- meaning the motivations behind it remain unclear.
AbdelHakim Belhajj, head of the Tripoli Military Council, told reporters that four people were killed, and that an unspecified number of people involved in the incident have been detained.
Al-Tunsi said he was traveling in eastern Libya, but has received reports the situation is "on its way to being resolved." There may be injuries, he said.
While the Libyan war is over, it's not the first time rival militias have clashed, a possible reflection of mutual distrust that could pose a challenge to the nation's new leadership.
It's more than distrust. It is a belief that the warlords won't get their share of the spoils from the fall of Gaddafi. The game now is to acquire bargaining chips in order to strengthen their negotiating position with the new government. The treasure trove of documents in that building is the kind of bargaining chip that the national government would trade money, supplies, and status for.
The weakness of the new government is evident in the fact that they have been unable to disarm the thousands of men with guns who are still roaming the neighborhoods of Tripoli and other major cities. Libya will not know any kind of peace until that happens.