TRIPOLI, Libya – Libya's interim army chief of staff insists militias will have to lay down their arms or join the military by the end of this year.
His comments come just days after 31 people, mostly civilians, were killed in deadly clashes with pro-government militiamen in the eastern city of Benghazi.
Col. Salem Qineydi told reporters there on Tuesday that the government needs the militias to assist in securing the country, but that ultimately they will have to join the army or return to civilian life by year's end.
Qineydi did not give specifics on how the government would implement the timeline.
He says some of the militias are rooted in the rebels that fought to oust dictator Moammar Gadhafi, but that others were not and have instead fought one another.