News / Middle East

    Despite Military Struggles, Rebels Plan for Post-Gadhafi Libya

    Drivers talk as they wait for fuel in a queue stretching for some hundreds of meters, in central Tripoli, Libya, (File)
    Drivers talk as they wait for fuel in a queue stretching for some hundreds of meters, in central Tripoli, Libya, (File)

    Libyan rebels have been bogged down in their military fight to unseat Moammar Gadhafi, but that hasn't kept them from planning for a country without the long-time leader. 

    Libya - post Gadhafi

    The rebel efforts have been somewhat disorganized, starting with the name of their opposition government. They have played around with the order of the adjectives in Transitional National Council, but the main point they want to stress is that the group is both national and transitional: something temporary, and encompassing all of Libya.

    The eastern-based council has said from the start it wants a united nation, with Tripoli as its capital. Some in the west and abroad have expressed fears about an eastern dominance in any new government. Libya already has a geographical divide - a vast stretch of desert splits the cities that dot the northern coast.

    More significant perhaps is the political division, with the east long feeling slighted by Gadhafi's government and his allies in the west.

    But even as fighting cuts the rebels off from anti-government forces in the west, rebel officials in Benghazi say they are doing their best to work together.

    Opposition Interior Minister Ahmed al-Darrat, who is part of the council's executive committee, says he believes some rebels in the west have been able to establish councils of their own, and they've been coordinating with opposition officials in Benghazi. He is convinced that will ensure a smooth transition after what he expects to be Gadhafi's fall.

    Balancing transitions

    The eastern-based rebels are planning for that day with a provisional constitution, though the details are still fluid. They want to expand the council to make sure the entire country is represented, a bid to show they have no interest in a power grab.  They also hope to hold legislative, then presidential elections within a year, with some council members pledging not to take part as a demonstration of their neutrality.  

    How effective has the transitional council been so far?  It's uneven, with some basic services still not sorted out.

    At a local bank, Benghazi native Tariq stands in frustration before the teller.  Once again, there's a shortage of cash.

    He says there are difficulties these days with money, with the bank limiting how much one can withdraw. He feels that even with cash infusions from abroad, the situation is getting worse.

    There are also power shortages.  The local council has organized rolling blackouts that can last up to a third of the day. But given the circumstances in which the opposition started, it could perhaps have been worse. Towns in the east were under siege, making military protection the immediate concern.

    But simultaneously they began to organize, with volunteers coming out to help with everything from administration to street cleaning.  It was no small task for a people who, for most of their lives, had been largely limited to carrying out Gadhafi's instructions.

    Building a political infrastructure

    Council spokesman Jalal elGalal argues that Libyans will continue to overcome the lack of political infrastructure and a tradition of democratic decision-making. He argues that a sense of freedom, and the responsibilities that come with it is inherent.

    "Same with justice. We all have a sense of justice. So although the institutions have been unavailable for 40 years, people understand the concept of justice. They understand the concept of tolerance. They understand the concept of freedom. And I think it will be very easy for them to fall within the [democratic] institutions' guidelines once they're set up," elGalal said.

    It's a hopeful start, but they still have a long way to go. Even successful uprisings, such as in Egypt, have seen the struggle for a more representative government falter.  And with Gadhafi declaring he will not give up power, the foundation of the rebels' plan has yet to be laid.  

    You May Like

    Video Rubio Looks to Surge in New Hampshire

    Republican presidential candidate has moved into second place in several recent surveys and appears to be gaining ground on longtime frontrunner Donald Trump

    UN Calls for Global Ban on Female Genital Mutilation

    Recent UNICEF report finds at least 200 million girls and women alive today have undergone female genital mutilation in 30 countries

    UN Pilots New Peace Approach in CAR

    Approach launched in northern town of Kaga Bandoro, where former combatants of mainly Muslim Seleka armed group and Christian and animist anti-Balaka movement are being paid to do community work

    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.
    German Artists to Memorialize Refugees With Life Jacket Exhibiti
    X
    Hamada Elsaram
    February 05, 2016 4:30 PM
    Sold in every kind of shop in some Turkish port towns, life jackets have become a symbol of the refugee crisis that brought a million people to Europe in 2015.  On the shores of Lesbos, Greece, German artists collect discarded life jackets as they prepare an art installation they plan to display in Germany.  For VOA, Hamada Elrasam has this report from Lesbos, Greece.
    Video

    Video German Artists to Memorialize Refugees With Life Jacket Exhibit

    Sold in every kind of shop in some Turkish port towns, life jackets have become a symbol of the refugee crisis that brought a million people to Europe in 2015.  On the shores of Lesbos, Greece, German artists collect discarded life jackets as they prepare an art installation they plan to display in Germany.  For VOA, Hamada Elrasam has this report from Lesbos, Greece.
    Video

    Video E-readers Help Ease Africa's Book Shortage

    Millions of people in Africa can't read, and there's a chronic shortage of books. A non-profit organization called Worldreader is trying to help change all that one e-reader at a time. VOA’s Deborah Block tells us about a girls' school in Nairobi, Kenya where Worldreader is making a difference.
    Video

    Video Genius Lets World Share Its Knowledge

    Inspired by crowdsourcing companies like Wikipedia, Genius allows anyone to edit anything on the web, using its web annotation tool
    Video

    Video Former Drug CEO Martin Shkreli Angers US Lawmakers

    A former U.S. pharmaceutical business executive has angered lawmakers by refusing to explain why he raised the price of a life-saving pill by 5,000 percent. Martin Shkreli was removed from a congressional hearing on Thursday after citing his Fifth Amendment right to stay silent. Zlatica Hoke has more.
    Video

    Video Super Bowl TV Commercials are Super Business for Advertisers

    The Super Bowl, the championship clash between the two top teams in American Football, is the most-watched sporting event of the year, and advertisers are lining up and paying big bucks to get their commercials on the air. In fact, the TV commercials during the Super Bowl have become one of the most anticipated and popular features of the event. VOA's Brian Allen has a sneak peek of what you can expect to see when the big game goes to commercial break, and the real entertainment begins.
    Video

    Video In Philippines, Mixed Feelings About Greater US Military Presence

    In the Philippines, some who will be directly affected by a recent Supreme Court decision clearing the way for more United States troop visits are having mixed reactions.  The increased rotations come at a time when the Philippines is trying to build up its military in the face of growing maritime assertiveness from China.  From Bahile, Palawan on the coast of the South China Sea, Simone Orendain has this story.
    Video

    Video Microcephaly's Connection to Zika: Guilty Until Proven Innocent

    The Zika virus rarely causes problems for the people who get it, but it seems to be having a devastating impact on babies whose mothers are infected with Zika. VOA's Carol Pearson has more.
    Video

    Video Solar Innovation Provides Cheap, Clean Energy to Kenya Residents

    In Kenya, a company called M-Kopa Solar is providing clean energy to more than 300,000 homes across East Africa by allowing customers to "pay-as-you-go" via their cell phones. As Lenny Ruvaga reports from Kangemi, customers pay a small deposit for a solar unit and then pay less than a dollar a day to get clean energy to light up their homes or businesses.
    Video

    Video Stunning Artworks Attract Record Crowds, Thanks to Social Media

    A new exhibit at the oldest art museum in America is shattering attendance records. Thousands of visitors are lining up to see nine giant works of art that have gotten a much-deserved shot of viral marketing. The 150-year-old Smithsonian American Art Museum has never had a response quite like this. VOA's Julie Taboh reports.
    Video

    Video Apprenticeships Put Americans on Path Back to Work

    Trying to get more people into the U.S. workforce, the Obama administration last year announced $175 million in grants towards apprenticeship programs. VOA White House correspondent Aru Pande went inside one training center outside of Washington that has gained national recognition for helping put people on the path to employment.
    Video

    Video New Material May Reduce Concussion Effects

    As the 2016 National Football League season reaches its summit at the Super Bowl this coming Sunday (2/7), scientists are trying to learn how to more effectively protect football players from dangerous and damaging concussions. Researchers at Cardiff and Cambridge Universities say their origami-based material may solve the problem. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Saudi Arabian Women's Sports Chip Away at Stereotypes

    Saudi Arabian female athletes say that sports are on the front line of busting traditions that quash women’s voices, both locally and internationally. In their hometown of Jeddah, a group of basketball players say that by connecting sports to health issues, they are encouraging women and girls to get out of their homes and participate in public life. VOA’s Heather Murdock reports.
    Video

    Video A Year Later, Fortunes Mixed for Syrians Forging New Lives in Berlin

    In April of last year, VOA followed the progress of six young Syrian refugees -- four brothers and their two friends -- as they made their way from Libya to Italy by boat, and eventually to Germany. Reporter Henry Ridgwell caught up with the refugees again in Berlin, as they struggle to forge new lives amid the turmoil of Europe's refugee crisis.
    Video

    Video Zika Virus May be Hard to Stop

    With the Zika virus spreading rapidly, the World Health Organization Monday declared Zika a global health emergency. As Alberto Pimienta reports, for many governments and experts, the worst is yet to come.