News / Africa

New Libya More Arab, Less African?

Libyan rebels patrol to try to find any of Moammar Gadhafi's relatives in Tripoli, Libya, August 24, 2011
Libyan rebels patrol to try to find any of Moammar Gadhafi's relatives in Tripoli, Libya, August 24, 2011
Joe DeCapua

The Arab League Thursday recognized Libya’s rebel Transitional National Council (TNC) as the country’s legitimate government. It said it’s time Libya once again had a permanent seat on the league’s council.

Libya’s representative to the Arab League said the country would take part in a ministers meeting on Saturday.

Too much, too soon?

“I think that it’s premature. The government of Libya under Gadhafi is not completely overthrown as yet. Gadhafi is still at large. And the United Nations has not officially recognized a new government for Libya. And I think it’s premature for individual states or even groupings like the Arab League to take that step,” said Na’eem Jeenah, executive director of the Afro Middle East Center in Johannesburg.

He said the question remains as to exactly whom the Transitional National Council represents.

“It’s a council that was formed in the east in Benghazi. When it was formed and up to recently, and I would say up to now, it still represents groupings of people in the east. Even the so-called rebels in the west, like the people who rose up in Tripoli, etc., are not necessarily accountable to or within the constituency of the Transitional National Council,” said Jeenah.

So long and goodbye

The Arab League’s recognition of the TNC may simply be a signal that it’s glad to see Gadhafi go.

“I think that’s a big part of it,” he said, “Remember that they were very quick to come out against Gadhafi when the uprising began. There’s no real love lost between Gadhafi and almost all the heads of state in the Arab League.”

Jeenah said Gadhafi had two main problems with the league.

“One was his kind of policy of, as far as they were concerned anyway, turning his back on the Arab world and turning towards the rest of Africa. He was kind of regarded either as something of a traitor or as a maverick, who just looked to where his bread was buttered politically,” he said.

The other problem was the Libyan leader’s personal style.

“It’s very difficult to expect the Emir of Qatar, for example, to like you very much when in a public forum you loudly call him a fat man and things like that. Or call the king of Saudi Arabia stupid. It was that kind of interpersonal relations that he really messed up,” he said.

African Union

Gadhafi once proposed that countries on the continent form a United States of Africa. Now that his days appear to be numbered, Libya’s relationship with the AU may never be the same.

“I think that the relationship will change quite significantly. I think that the importance that Gadhafi had given to the African Union and to the African continent will be reduced. And in general there will be much more of an emphasis on being part of the Arab League and the Arab world and developing stronger relations with other Arab states and with Europe,” he said.

The AU’s response to the Libyan situation may have sealed its fate.

“With the Arab League having come out so strongly against Gadhafi in favor the rebels,” he said, “there’s been a kind of stronger relationship and camaraderie that’s developed with other Arab states. The African Union, on the other hand, as far as the rebels are concerned, were not very helpful and didn’t come out in clear support of the rebel groups as many Arab states did,” he said.

Under Gadhafi, Libya was a major financial backer of the AU. Jeenah expects that to change.

“I think it’s going to be a problem, at least financially. Libya itself had been contributing about 15 percent of the AU’s budget. And it has also been paying the dues of a number of other countries that had defaulted. Well, it won’t stop completely because I think that Libya will remain a member of the AU and will continue paying its dues. But those dues will be much smaller than 15 percent of the budget,” he said.

Jeenah thinks it will be difficult for the AU to make up for the expected shortfall.

You May Like

UN: 1 Million Somalis at Risk of Hunger

Group warns region is in dire need of humanitarian aid, with at least 200,000 children under age of five acutely malnourished as drought hits southern, central part of nation More

Human Rights Groups Allege Supression of Freedoms in Thailand

Thailand’s military, police have suppressed release of independent report assessing human rights in kingdom during first 100 days of latest coup More

Jennifer Lawrence Contacts FBI After Nude Photos Hacked

'Silver Linings Playbook' actress' photos were posted on image-sharing forum 4chan; Federal Bureau of Investigations is looking into matter More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Ukraine Schools Resume Classes, Donate to Government Forcesi
X
September 02, 2014 12:58 PM
A new school year has started in Ukraine but thousands of children in the war-torn east are unable to attend because of ongoing clashes with pro-Russia rebels. In Ukraine's capital, patriotic education has become the norm along with donations to support injured security forces fighting to take back rebel-held areas. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Kyiv.
Video

Video Ukraine Schools Resume Classes, Donate to Government Forces

A new school year has started in Ukraine but thousands of children in the war-torn east are unable to attend because of ongoing clashes with pro-Russia rebels. In Ukraine's capital, patriotic education has become the norm along with donations to support injured security forces fighting to take back rebel-held areas. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Kyiv.
Video

Video US Detainees Want Negotiators for Freedom in North Korea

The three U.S. detainees held in North Korea were permitted to speak with foreign media Monday. The government of Kim Jong Un restricted the topics of the questions, and the interviews in Pyongyang were limited to five minutes. Each of the men asked Washington to send a representative to Pyongyang to secure his release. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti has our story.
Video

Video Internet, Technology Offer New Tools for Journalists

The Internet and rapidly evolving technology is quickly changing how people receive news and how journalists deliver it. There are now more ways to tell a story than ever before. One school in Los Angeles is teaching the next generation of journalists with the help of a state-of-the-art newsroom. Elizabeth Lee has this report.
Video

Video Turkmen From Amerli Describe Survival of IS Siege

Over the past few weeks, hundreds of Shi'ite Turkmen have fled the town of Amerli seeking refuge in the northern city of Kirkuk. Despite recent military gains after U.S. airstrikes that were coordinated with Iraqi and Kurdish forces, the situation remains dire for Amerli’s residents. Sebastian Meyer went to Kirkuk for VOA to speak to those who managed to escape.
Video

Video West Africa Ebola Vaccine Trials Possible by Early 2015

A U.S. health agency is speeding up clinical trials of a possible vaccine against the deadly Ebola virus that so far has killed more than 1,500 people in West Africa. If successful, the next step would be a larger trial in countries where the outbreak is occurring. VOA's Carol Pearson has more.
Video

Video Survivors Commemorate 70th Anniversary of Nazi Liquidation of Jewish Ghetto

When the German Nazi army occupied the Polish city of Lodz in 1939, it marked the beginning of a long nightmare for the Jewish community that once made up one third of the population. Roughly 200,000 people were forced into the Lodz Ghetto. Less than 7,000 survived. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, some survivors gathered at the Union League Club in Chicago on the 70th anniversary of the liquidation of the Lodz Ghetto to remember those who suffered at the hands of the Nazi regime.
Video

Video Cost to Raise Child in US Continues to Rise

The cost of raising a child in the United States continues to rise. In its latest annual report, the U.S. Department of Agriculture says middle income families with a child born in 2013 can expect to spend more than $240,000 before that child turns 18. And sending that child to college more than doubles that amount. VOA’s Deborah Block visited with a couple with one child in Alexandria, Virginia, to learn if the report reflects their lifestyle.
Video

Video Chaotic Afghan Vote Recount Threatens Nation’s Future

Afghanistan’s troubled presidential election continues to be rocked by turmoil as an audit of the ballots drags on. The U.N. says the recount will not be completed before September 10. Observers say repeated disputes and delays are threatening the orderly transfer of power and could have dangerous consequences. VOA correspondent Meredith Buel reports.

AppleAndroid