Thursday, February 29, 2024

Situation in Libya

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There was great jubilation in NATO countries as the Libyan rebel forces liberated Tripoli. Capture of the tyrant, Colonel. Gadaffi is just a question of time. But peace in Libya is still elusive. Lawlessness has hit rock bottom in Tripoli as the two sides carry on fighting. The National Transitional Council which is expected to facilitate the change of guard has no united stand. It is riddled with factions, each with an eye on the main chance. Conflict between them is inevitable. Removing the dictator was fine but the motley alliance has no common ideology, no common programme. The rural south of Libya has never received due attention. For years, its neglect has allowed emergence of feudal autocracies. The tribes of the region have no use for Tripoli’s centralised authority. It is unlikely to fall in line with the new regime to take over. Libya controls oil resources and illegal emigration from it to Mediterranean countries is proceeding apace. The new government will be hard put to introduce reforms which will enhance Libya’s image.

Finally, what will be the repercussions of the NATO presence to help the rebels? The EU, the UK and NATO forces thought it their obligation to intervene. Libya has turned into a huge arms dump. So far the turmoil in West Asia aggravated most in Libya with Western military engagement. Will NATO help establishment of democracy in the country? All will depend on the performance of the rebels who have ridden to power with smoking guns. The civilian population will of course play a major role in the reconstruction and democratisation process in Libya. Continued NATO presence in that country may not be necessary to achieve the end.

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