Tripoli: Hundreds of former Libyan rebels who helped topple Muammar Gaddafi were filling out applications for jobs with the new government as a first step to disarmament, the interior minister said.

Former rebels will be asked to turn in their weapons after training and working with the government, Fawzy Abdul-Ali said.

The uncontrolled ownership of weapons has been a major security concern since the end of the eight-month civil war that toppled Gaddafi in October. Rival revolutionary militias that remain armed have clashed repeatedly.

Abdul-Ali said former rebels will have until the end of January 2012 to apply for government’s posts through local military councils distributing the applications.

Ibrahim al-Khamsy, 50, hoped that filling out an application will get him a job at an oil rig, like the one he had for 13 years. He also expects the new government to compensate him for the years he spent unemployed after Gaddafi regime officials fired him in 1990.

"I hope I can go back to my old job, but they have to count those years of experience... or give me a raise," he said.

Although the application process was not scheduled to begin until January, several local councils began distributing the applications over the past day.

Mohammed al-Shatewi, a member of one of Tripoli's military councils, said ex-rebels can apply to join the army, the Interior Ministry, a civil institution or to continue their education and study abroad.

The applications ask former rebels what brigade they belong to, what their rank was during the uprising and the serial numbers of the weapons they possess. It also asks them for personal information regarding their education, marital status and if they were wounded in the uprising.


(Agencies)