Hundreds of weapons held by former Libyan rebels who fought the security forces of the late Libyan strongman Muammar Gaddafi have been turned over to military authorities in response to a call by government in the wake of violent incidents in Bhengazi.
The earlier call by military authorities for civilians to surrender their arms after the fall of Gaddafi did not result in massive turnover until after the violent incident in Benghazi which killed the American ambassador and three of the US Embassy staff.
According to Army Col. Omran al-Warfali, hundreds came early for the turn over of their weapons to the authorities.
"Hundreds of citizens came since the early hours of this morning to handover their weapons from all segments of society, men and youth, women, and even children came to hand over bullets they found it in the streets," he told AP.
In the same AP report, "Moussa Omr, a former fighter who lives on the outskirts of Benghazi and who fought against Gadhafi, said it was time to turn over his weapon to the state."
"When I saw the announcement on television I came to Benghazi with my wife and son to hand over my weapon to the national army because I want to move from the stage of the revolution to state building," he said. "I trust the national army. They have been with us on the frontline and I know them one by one. I don't need this weapon after today, the militias have been expelled from Benghazi and the national army will protect us."
Libya's new government has been struggling to fight criminality as private armed groups continue to patrol the streets but often take the law into their own hands.
Estimates reveal there are at least 200,000 private citizens in Libya who are armed and government has been trying to entice them to surrender their weapons.
Members of the armed groups were offered jobs and money in exchange for their weapons but few have responded to the call by Libya's new leaders.
But recent developments have shown that armed groups have realized the pressing need for lasting peace in their communities.
Some armed group members have offered to join the military under the new regime after surrendering their weapons.
"Saad Bakar, head of a small brigade in Benghazi, handed over rifles and ammunition on Saturday, saying he was ready to disband his group," Reuters wrote.
"We were waiting until today to make sure that the weapons go to the right place," he said. "We want to join the army as individuals."
The organizers of the weapons collection initiative said the campaign will continue in key cities in order to further entice the armed groups to hand over their weapons, they plan to raffle off prizes to include cars at the end of weapons collection day.