“People in Bani Walid have taken up arms because they don’t see the militia as a legitimate force”
Up until recently, the militia forces only occasionally bombarded the outskirts of Bani Walid. But the rocket fire intensified two days ago [on Wednesday, October 17] after they seized control of the four major points of entry into the town. The shelling has actually now started to hit Bani Walid itself. I heard about a young girl who was around 16 years old who died after she was hit by shrapnel. Some families have fled, but the majority of people in Bani Walid would rather stay.We haven’t had any petrol for several days now and food has begun to run low. It’s the same with medical supplies. People who need to take medicine regularly to treat conditions like diabetes have suffered the most since the attacks began.“We’re still waiting for the authorities to actually put the agreement in place”A delegation of tribal leaders from different regions came to Bani Walid [on October 13] to meet with the local heads over how to end the fighting. The town eventually agreed to bring people wanted by the authorities to justice and to allow the Libyan army in to ensure security [Hussein al-Habbouni, head of Libya’s reconciliation committee, confirmed that tribal leaders and Bani Walid authorities held talks mediated by representatives from the General National Congress, which ended with an agreement on the terms of a ceasefire and prisoner exchange].Regardless, the fighting has continued and we’re still waiting to see the agreement put into place. A lot of young people have decided to take up arms against the militia because they don’t see them as a legitimate force. It’s mostly made up of former rebels from Misrata, who place a lot of importance on regional and tribal issues.People in Bani Walid just want a peaceful solution to this conflict and for the bloodshed to end.