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

Egypt's Suez Canal Dreams Tempered by Continued Unrest

Seen as a potential driver of recovery, Cairo’s plan to expand waterway had been raising hopes to give country much needed economic boost More

Ebola Maternity Ward in Sierra Leone First of its Kind

Country already had one of world's highest maternal mortality rates before Ebola arrived, virus has added even more complications to health care More

Malaysia Flight 370 Disappearance Ruled Accident

Aircraft disappeared on March 8, 2014; with ruling, families of 239 passengers and crew can now seek compensation from airline More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Super Bowl Ads Compete for Eyes on TV, Webi
X
January 29, 2015 9:58 AM
Super Bowl Sunday (Feb. 1) is about more than just the NFL's American football championship and big parties to watch the game. Viewers also tune in for the world famous commercials that send Facebook and Twitter abuzz. Daniela Schrier reports on the social media rewards for America’s priciest advertising.
Video

Video Super Bowl Ads Compete for Eyes on TV, Web

Super Bowl Sunday (Feb. 1) is about more than just the NFL's American football championship and big parties to watch the game. Viewers also tune in for the world famous commercials that send Facebook and Twitter abuzz. Daniela Schrier reports on the social media rewards for America’s priciest advertising.
Video

Video Theologians Cast Doubt on Morality of Drone Strikes

In 2006, stirred by photos of U.S. soldiers mistreating Iraqi prisoners, a group of American faith leaders and academics launched the National Religious Campaign Against Torture. It played an important role in getting Congress to investigate, and the president to ban, torture. VOA's Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Freedom on Decline Worldwide, Report Says

The state of global freedom declined for the ninth consecutive year in 2014, according to global watchdog Freedom House's annual report released Wednesday. VOA's William Gallo has more.
Video

Video As Ground Shifts, Obama Reviews Middle East Strategy

The death of Saudi Arabia’s king, the collapse of a U.S.-friendly government in Yemen and a problematic relationship with Israel’s leadership are presenting a new set of complications for the Obama administration and its Middle East policy. Not only is the U.S. leader dealing with adversaries in Iran, the Islamic State and al-Qaida, but he is now juggling trouble with traditional allies, as White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.
Video

Video MRI Seems to Help Diagnose Prostate Cancer, Preliminary Study Shows

Just as with mammography used to detect breast cancer, there's a lot of controversy about tests used to diagnose prostate cancer. Fortunately, a new study shows doctors may now have a more reliable way to diagnose prostate cancer for high risk patients. More from VOA's Carol Pearson.
Video

Video Smartphones About to Make Leap, Carry Basic Senses

Long-distance communication contains mostly sounds and pictures - for now. But scientists in Britain say they are close to creating additions for our smartphones that will make it possible to send taste, smell and even a basic touch. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video NASA Monitors Earth’s Vital Signs From Space

The U.S. space agency, NASA, is wrapping up its busiest 12-month period in more than a decade, with three missions launched in 2014 and two this month, one in early January and the fifth scheduled for January 29. As VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports, the instruments being lifted into orbit are focused on Earth’s vital life support systems and how they are responding to a warmer planet.
Video

Video Saved By a Mistake - an Auschwitz Survivor's Story

Dagmar Lieblova was 14 when she arrived at Auschwitz in December 1943, along with her entire Czech Jewish family. All of them were to die there, but she was able to leave after several months due to a bureaucratic mix-up which saved her life. Now 85, with three children and six grandchildren, she says she has a feeling of victory. This report by Ahmad Wadiei and Farin Assemi, of RFE/RL's Radio Farda is narrated by RFE’s Raymond Furlong.

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More

All About America

AppleAndroid