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

    Former US Envoys Urge Obama to Delay Troop Cuts in Afghanistan

    Keeping troop levels up during conflict with both Taliban and Islamic State is necessary to support Kabul government, they say

    First Lady to Visit Africa to Promote Girls' Education

    Michele Obama will be joined by daughters and actresses Meryl Streep and Freida Pinto

    Video NYSE Analyst: Brexit Will Continue to Place Pressure on Markets

    Despite orderly pricing and execution strategy at the New York Stock Exchange, analyst explains added pressure on world financial markets is likely

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

    By the Numbers

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Brexit Vote Plunges Global Markets Into Uncharted Territoryi
    X
    June 24, 2016 9:38 PM
    British voters plunged global markets into unknown territory after they voted Thursday to leave the European Union. The results of the Brexit vote, the term coined to describe the referendum, caught many off guard. Analysts say the resulting volatility could last for weeks, perhaps longer. Mil Arcega reports.
    Video

    Video Brexit Vote Plunges Global Markets Into Uncharted Territory

    British voters plunged global markets into unknown territory after they voted Thursday to leave the European Union. The results of the Brexit vote, the term coined to describe the referendum, caught many off guard. Analysts say the resulting volatility could last for weeks, perhaps longer. Mil Arcega reports.
    Video

    Video Orlando Shooting Changes Debate on Gun Control

    It’s been nearly two weeks since the largest mass shooting ever in the United States. Despite public calls for tighter gun control laws, Congress is at an impasse. Democratic lawmakers resorted to a 1960s civil rights tactic to portray their frustration. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti explains how the Orlando, Florida shooting is changing the debate.
    Video

    Video Tunisian Fishing Town Searches for Jobs, Local Development Solutions

    As the European Union tries to come to grips with its migrant crisis, some newcomers are leaving voluntarily. But those returning to their home countries face an uncertain future.  Five years after Tunisia's revolution, the tiny North African country is struggling with unrest, soaring unemployment and plummeting growth. From the southern Tunisian fishing town of Zarzis, Lisa Bryant takes a look for VOA at a search for local solutions.
    Video

    Video 'American Troops' in Russia Despite Tensions

    Historic battle re-enactment is a niche hobby with a fair number of adherents in Russia where past military victories are played-up by the Kremlin as a show of national strength. But, one group of World War II re-enactors in Moscow has the rare distinction of choosing to play western ally troops. VOA's Daniel Schearf explains.
    Video

    Video Experts: Very Few Killed in US Gun Violence Are Victims of Mass Shootings

    The deadly shooting at a Florida nightclub has reignited the debate in the U.S. over gun control. Although Congress doesn't provide government health agencies funds to study gun violence, public health experts say private research has helped them learn some things about the issue. VOA's Carol Pearson reports.
    Video

    Video Trump Unleashes Broadside Against Clinton to Try to Ease GOP Doubts

    Recent public opinion polls show Republican Donald Trump slipping behind Democrat Hillary Clinton in the presidential election matchup for November. Trump trails her both in fundraising and campaign organization, but he's intensifying his attacks on the former secretary of state. VOA National Correspondent Jim Malone reports.
    Video

    Video Muslim American Mayor Calls for Tolerance

    Syrian-born Mohamed Khairullah describes himself as "an American mayor who happens to be Muslim." As the three-term mayor of Prospect Park, New Jersey, he believes his town of 6,000 is an example of how ethnicity and religious beliefs should not determine a community's leadership. Ramon Taylor has this report from Prospect Park.
    Video

    Video Internal Rifts Over Syria Policy Could Be Headache for Next US President

    With the Obama administration showing little outward enthusiasm for adopting a more robust Syria policy, there is a strong likelihood that the internal discontent expressed by State Department employees will roll over to the next administration. VOA State Department correspondent Pam Dockins reports.
    Video

    Video Senegal to Park Colorful ‘Cars Rapide’ Permanently

    Brightly painted cars rapide are a hallmark of Dakar, offering residents a cheap way to get around the capital city since 1976. But the privately owned minibuses are scheduled to be parked for good in late 2018, as Ricci Shryock reports for VOA.
    Video

    Video Florida Gets $1 Million in Emergency Government Funding for Orlando

    The U.S. government has granted $1 million in emergency funding to the state of Florida to cover the costs linked to the June 12 massacre in Orlando. U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch announced the grant Tuesday in Orlando, where she met with survivors of the shooting attack that killed 49 people. Zlatica Hoke reports.
    Video

    Video How to Print Impossible Shapes with Metal

    3-D printing with metals is rapidly becoming more advanced. As printers become more affordable, the industry is partnering with universities to refine processes for manufacturing previously impossible things. A new 3-D printing lab aims to bring the new technology closer to everyday use. VOA's George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Big Somali Community in Minnesota Observes Muslim Religious Feast

    Ramadan is widely observed in the north central US state of Minnesota, which a large Muslim community calls home. VOA Somali service reporter Mohmud Masadde files this report from Minneapolis, the state's biggest city.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora