#Msalata - #Libya ‘s new #Misrata: Gaddafi appoints gangster as new overlord of Msalata – a new front that has required the Regime to use ‘seconded’ resources to deal with.
Here are the facts of the local #FF revolt:
Msalata – is a small city of 55000 – just beyond the larger city of Tahuna - which is on the outskirts of #Tripoli – so is right in the heart of ‘Gaddafiland’.
It has traditionally been a centre of Islamic study and learning - in same way as Fez in Morocco – but its most important modern economic resource is olive oil farming and production.
Here is a #MAP of #Msallata http://wikimapia.org/5834583/Msallata -
which is part of the #Libya district of #Tarhuna [per @4Adam]
Msallata like all cities in regime occupied Libya since Febriuay 2011 has suffered serious food shortages and last week clashes spontaneously arose in a bakery queue – that lead to the local Msalata people – including local #FF - attacking the Gaddafi officials – the ultimate causes of the food shortages - and winning control of the city.
The regime forces were driven out of the city - and their HQ within the city and the local government admin office building - set fire to and destroyed.
4 #FF were killed – and several Gaddafi officials were arrested.
The next day #Gaddafi unleashed his #HubalBrigade on the city:
“75 cars entered via the eastern entrance, from the Al-Khums-Msalata Road A number of them came via the southern entrance from the Msalata-Tarhunah Road They started firing to terrorize the residents. They did not respect the sanctity of anything, even the mosques. They violated the sanctity of the Youssef Al-Djarani mosque in the market area. They entered the sacred areas (where people pray) of the mosque with their boots and arrested eight of the worshipers and a caretaker, the Karmeesh area.” Per Al-Manara Media:
On Saturday - a local well known gangster named Milad Al-Daman arrived in Msalata.
Gaddafi had ‘appointed’ him – as a local strongman to restore control. This tactic of using local criminals was also used by the Mubarak regime in Egypt – who at the start of the Cairo revolt released 1000’s of them from custody to sow disorder and terrorize the local people who had dared to question the regimes authority.
Gaddafi is very short of army personnel – and an alliance with a criminal is no different from his alliance with the 1000’s of mercenaries he has imported into Libya – he effectively pays the criminal to act as his local Pasha or strongman – the ‘pay’ being the ‘right’ to do whatever he wants providing he keeps the #FF at bay.
As the Al-Manara Media report states:
The gangster leader Al-Daman
“requested a meeting with the local community, but they did not go to him. He then gathered a group of followers and asked them to deliver a message.
He said that he was ready to wipe out the city within one hour and that the city was completely surrounded.
He said that rocket launchers were in Al-Akeratt – a suburb in Msalata – and Al-Amamrah They were on standby in case the freedom fighters made any new move, and he would not hesitate to bomb the city.”
At present the exit roads from the city are controlled by Al-Daman and his private militia – who intermittedly drive through the cities shooting – but do not really control the city – as many neighbourhoods are armed and capable of resisting any attempt to restore the dead hand of the regimes day to day rule.
So for now – Msalata is free – in the sense that there is no day to day Gaddafi rule within the inner city districts – just a threatening gangster with a large private militia sponsored by the regime blockading the city - and threatening to annihilate it with rockets.
The story of Mislata is important in the #FF revolution – because it illustrates that ordinary people deep in the heart of Gaddafi territory – like the original ‘rebels’ of the French revolution who also revolted because they had no beard - will only tolerate food shortages for so long – before they reject the authority of the officials they consider ultimately responsible for them – regardless of the consequences.
The Mayor of Tripoli – if he can manage to emerge from the sewers of #BabAlAzizia to rule his daily diminishing territory – should perhaps now consider food just as important an import priority for his Regime’s survival - as gasoil – and much less likely to be ‘diverted’.