“Security concerns remain the immediate priority, as a series of isolated armed conflicts and attacks on international targets in several cities have raised serious questions about the ability of the interim authorities to ensure order,” the August report stated.

“As of August 2012, militia groups remained active and influential, with some acknowledging and participating in government efforts to assert central security authority. Public displays of weapons, attacks on international targets, and isolated armed clashes underscore the threats posed by some groups,” the report noted.

“Security officials continue to rely on irregular forces to provide security in much of the country,” the CRS said. “Differences of opinion over regional representation and the balance of power between national and local authorities may become a subject of greater debate and potential source of conflict as the transition continues.”