News / Africa

Chaos Continues in Libya Where Militias Rule

Chaos Continues in Libya Where Militias Rulei
X
October 17, 2013 10:46 PM
Two years after the death of Colonel Moammar Gadhafi, chaos reigns in Libya where a barely functioning central government is unable to control the thousands of militias that roam the country. VOA correspondent Meredith Buel reports.
Meredith Buel
Two years after the death of Colonel Moammar Gadhafi, chaos reigns in Libya where a barely functioning central government is unable to control the thousands of militias that roam the country.  

In the aftermath of Libya's revolution, an estimated 200,000 militiamen are spread across the country's towns and cities, controlling large parts of the country.

The militias form a parallel state, and the central government has virtually no power over them.

“You have communal clashes, you have militias fighting over control of airports or smuggling routes, you have militias shutting down oil production facilities, you have kidnappings," said William Lawrence, an analyst who just returned from Libya.

Prime Minister Ali Zeidan is among those recently abducted. His brief detention underscores Libya’s post-Gadhafi turmoil.  

More mayhem is expected now that the prime minister has alleged he was the victim of an attempted coup.

“All these actions were ordered by some leaders inside our government.  It is an attempted coup to topple the legal government," Zeidan said.

Protesters are accusing the prime minister of having tacitly approved the U.S. capture on Libyan soil  of an alleged al-Qaida operative. And anti-American feeling is rising.

American commandos snatched Abu Anas al-Libi off a street in Tripoli earlier this month.

U.S. officials say he was one of the most wanted terrorists.   

Al-Libi was indicted more than a decade ago for allegedly planning the deadly 1998 bombings of U.S. embassies in Kenya and Tanzania.

"The United States of America will never stop in its effort to hold those accountable who conduct acts of terror and those members of al-Qaida and other terrorist organizations literally can run but they can't hide," said U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry.

Al-Libi pleaded not guilty in a New York court and possibly may possess significant information about al-Qaida.

“And so I think he’s considered a very valuable source and resource for the United States right now," said Karen Greenberg, who directs the Center on National Security at Fordham University.

Al-Libi’s capture infuriated Islamists in Libya, who are calling for the government to step down.

Despite the lawlessness, some analysts point to Libya’s well educated population and an overall desire for stability and rule of law.

“Libya, although it has had challenges, although it has had bumps, has incredible challenges when you talk about militias and security, has moved incrementally forward," said Manal Omar, who directs the North Africa program at the U.S. Institute of Peace.

Still, analysts predict it could take a decade before Libya can become a stable democracy.

You May Like

China’s Influence Grows With New Infrastructure Bank

Multibillion-dollar China-backed and BRICS-supported Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank seen as possible challenger to such lenders as IMF, World Bank More

Video Rabbi Hits Road to Heal Jewish-Muslim Relations in France

Rabbi Michel Serfaty makes the rounds in his friendship bus to encourage dialogue and break down barriers between the two groups More

Post-deal Iran Leaders Need 'Economic Momentum' to Solidify Power Base

Economists say deal could inject more than $100 billion into coffers - not enough to entirely rescue ailing economy - but maybe adequate to create 'economic momentum' More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
US Gay Marriage Ruling Yields Real-life Impacti
X
Michael Bowman
June 28, 2015 10:05 PM
Friday’s landmark Supreme Court decision legalizing same-sex marriage throughout the United States is an outcome few thought possible just years ago, and shows a nation that increasingly tolerates and even celebrates the hopes and aspirations of gay people. VOA’s Michael Bowman spoke to a same-sex couple that will benefit from the high court ruling, and to a Christian scholar who is apprehensive about its potential consequences for America’s faith community.
Video

Video US Gay Marriage Ruling Yields Real-life Impact

Friday’s landmark Supreme Court decision legalizing same-sex marriage throughout the United States is an outcome few thought possible just years ago, and shows a nation that increasingly tolerates and even celebrates the hopes and aspirations of gay people. VOA’s Michael Bowman spoke to a same-sex couple that will benefit from the high court ruling, and to a Christian scholar who is apprehensive about its potential consequences for America’s faith community.
Video

Video Syrians Flee IS Advance in Hasaka

The Syrian government said Monday it has taken back one of several districts in Hasaka overrun by Islamic State militants. But continued fighting elsewhere in the northern city has forced thousands of civilians from their homes. In this report narrated by Bill Rodgers, VOA Kurdish Service reporter Zana Omer describes the scene in Amouda, where some of the displaced are taking refuge.
Video

Video Rabbi Hits Road to Heal Jewish-Muslim Relations in France

France is on high alert after last week's terrorist attack near the city Lyon, just six months after deadly Paris shootings. The attack have added new tensions to relations between French Jews and Muslims. France’s Jewish and Muslim communities also share a common heritage, though, and as far as one French rabbi is concerned, they are destined to be friends. From the Paris suburb of La Courneuve, Lisa Bryant reports about Rabbi Michel Serfaty and his friendship bus.
Video

Video S. Korea Christians Protest Gay Rights Festival

The U.S. Supreme Court decision mandating marriage equality nationwide has energized gay rights supporters around the world. Gay rights remain a highly contentious issue in a key U.S. ally, South Korea, where police did a deft job Sunday of preventing potential clashes between Christian protesters and gay activists. Kurt Achin reports from Seoul.
Video

Video Saudi Leaks Expose ‘Checkbook Diplomacy’ In Battle With Iran

Saudi Arabia’s willingness to wield its oil money on the global diplomatic stage appears to have been laid bare, after the website WikiLeaks published tens of thousands of leaked cables from Riyadh’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video Nubians in Kenya Face Land Challenges

East Africa's ethnic Nubians have a rich cultural history that dates back thousands of years, but in Kenya they are facing hardships, including the loss of lands they have lived on for generations. They say the government has reneged on its pledge to award them title deeds for the plots. VOA's Lenny Ruvaga reports.
Video

Video Syrian Refugees Return to Tal Abyad

Syrian refugees in Turkey confirm they left their hometown of Tal Abyad because of intense fighting and coalition airstrikes, not because Kurdish fighters were engaged in ethnic cleansing, as some Turkish officials charged. VOA Kurdish Service reporter Zana Omer, in Tal Abyad, finds that civilians coming back to the town agree, as we hear in this report narrated by Roger Wilkison.
Video

Video Military Experts Question New Russian Tank Capabilities

Russia has been showing off its new tank design – the Armata T-14. Designers claim it is 20 years ahead of current Western designs - and driving it feels like playing a computer game. But military analysts question those assertions, and warn the cost could be too heavy a burden for Russia’s struggling economy. Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video In Kenya, Police Said to Shoot First, Ask Questions Later

An organization that documents torture and extrajudicial killings says Kenyan police were responsible for 1,252 shooting deaths in five cities, including Nairobi, between 2009 and 2014, representing 67 percent of all gun deaths in the areas reviewed. Gabe Joselow has more from Nairobi.
Video

Video In Syrian Crisis, Social Media Offer Small Comforts

Za’atari, a makeshift city in Jordan, may be the only Syrian refugee camp to tweet its activities, in an effort to keep donors motivated as the war in Syria intensifies and the humanitarian crisis deepens. Inside the camp, families say mobile phone applications help hold together families that are physically torn apart. VOA’s Heather Murdock reports.
Video

Video Chemical-Sniffing Technology Fights Australia's Graffiti Vandals

Cities and towns all over the world spend huge amounts of resources battling graffiti writers who deface buildings, public transport vehicles and even monuments. Authorities in Sydney, Australia, hope a new chemical-sniffing technology finally will stop vandals from scribbling on walls in the passenger areas of commuter trains. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Cambodia Struggling to Curb Child Labor

Earlier this year a United Nations report found 10 percent of Cambodian children aged 7-14 are working – one of the highest rates in the region – and said one in four children in that age bracket are forced to quit school to help their families. Although the child labor rate has dropped over the past decade, Cambodia has a lot more to do – including keeping more children in school. Robert Carmichael reports for VOA from Phnom Penh.

VOA Blogs