For the second day running, Tuesday, Libya's eastern city of Benghazi witnessed a demonstration made up of around 600 people expressing their discontent with the country's new interim leaders, who, they feel are being too slow to act in affecting changes and for their lack of transparency.
The assurances given by the National Transitional Council and the declaration to make Benghazi the country's economic capital, do not seem to have pacified all the protesters. Even though their numbers shrunk from the first day when tens of thousands took to the streets in central Shajara square and Abdul Nasser Street, one needs to look deeply into their claims.
Disgruntled protesters targeted the NTC, in efforts to pressure the new rulers to come clean about their activities. Mustafa Abdul-Jalil, the head of Libya's National Transitional Council was singled out by around by protesters on Monday for his willingness to forgive those who had fought for the former dictator.
One of the demonstrators was reported telling AFP, that the intention was not to attack Mustafa Jalil personally, “but he is surrounded by corrupt NTC members, and is unable to control things."
It is reliably understood that various groups in Benghazi have prepared a joint list of demands., with top priority given to former rebels and those wounded in the eight-month long revolution that ousted the former Libyan dictator. Another demand is, that NTC members must not participate in the election of a national congress.
After Monday's protests Abdul-Jalil called on people to be patient and give the new authorities time as he outlined plans to help people who fought against Al Qathafi to lay down their arms and find roles in civilian life, to beef up border security, and to redistribute central government funds to allow regions and cities more autonomy. He said the NTC was investing in priorities.
He also promised transparency, and said that the NTC will start its own website on which the list of its members and the activities of the NTC would be made public.
He also said that since the revolution the people of Benghazi “feel they are marginalised and forgotten," and called for "restraint and preservation of public property", Abdul-Jalil said the NTC was investing in priorities including the integration of former rebels into society.
Abdul-Jalil also said a budget would be allocated to each city and regional council, depending on its population and the extent of damage caused in the eight-month conflict.