Blanket amnesty to those who committed crimes during the revolution is allowing the militias to indulge in lawless behaviour.
The death of U.S. Ambassador Chris Stevens in Benghazi, Libya on September 11 has focused attention once more on the security situation in the country. No doubt, after 42 years of undemocratic rule it is reasonable to expect a slow transition into normalcy. A new government elected in July operates without control of its territory, and with institutions that are not yet fully functional.
The central government based in Tripoli is an island linked to Libya’s other towns and cities, where urban militias govern through the armed force of two hundred and fifty thousand fighters. A U.S. State Department cable from Tripoli to Washington on August 8, 2012 cautions that “the absence of significant deterrence has contributed to a security vacuum that is being exploited” by various elements, including former regime elements and Islamist extremists. The “individual incidents have been organized,” writes the embassy official in this leaked cable, “but this is not an organized campaign.” Rather, the violent incidents amount to “a confluence rather than a conspiracy.” It was this confluence of violence that escalated the protest in Benghazi that led to the death of the Ambassador. (...) "