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

    US, Somalia Launch New Chapter in Relations

    US sends first ambassador to Somalia in 25 years; diplomatic presence and forces pulled out in 1993, after 18 US soldiers were killed when militiamen shot down military helicopter

    Brexit Vote Ripples Across South Asia

    Experts say exit is likely to have far-reaching economic, political and social implications for a region with deep historic ties to Britain

    Russian Military Tests Readiness With Snap Inspections

    Some observers see surprise drill as tit-for-tat response to NATO’s recent multinational military exercises in Baltic region

    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.
    Testing Bamboo as Building Materiali
    X
    June 27, 2016 9:06 PM
    For thousands of years various species of bamboo - one of the world's most versatile plants - have been used for diverse purposes ranging from food and medicine to textiles and construction. But its use on a large scale is hampered because it's not manufactured to specific standards but grown in the ground. A University of Pittsburgh professor is on track to changing that. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Testing Bamboo as Building Material

    For thousands of years various species of bamboo - one of the world's most versatile plants - have been used for diverse purposes ranging from food and medicine to textiles and construction. But its use on a large scale is hampered because it's not manufactured to specific standards but grown in the ground. A University of Pittsburgh professor is on track to changing that. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Orphanage in Iraqi City Houses Kids Who Lost their Parents to Attacks by IS

    An orphanage in Iraqi Kurdistan has become home to scores of Yazidi children who lost their parents after Islamic State militants took over Sinjar in Iraq’s Nineveh Province in 2014. Iraqi Kurdish forces backed by the U.S. airstrikes have since recaptured Sinjar but the need for the care provided by the orphanage continues. VOA’s Kawa Omar filed this report narrated by Rob Raffaele.
    Video

    Video Re-Opening Old Wounds in a Bullet-Riddled Cultural Landmark

    A cultural landmark before Lebanon’s civil war transformed it into a nest of snipers, Beirut’s ‘Yellow House’ is once again set to play a crucial role in the city.  Built in a neo-Ottoman style in the 1920s, in September it is set to be re-opened as a ‘memory museum’ - its bullet-riddled walls and bunkered positions overlooking the city’s notorious ‘Green Line’ maintained for posterity. John Owens reports from Beirut.
    Video

    Video Brexit Resounds in US Presidential Contest

    Britain’s decision to leave the European Union is resounding in America’s presidential race. As VOA’s Michael Bowman reports, Republican presumptive nominee Donald Trump sees Britain’s move as an affirmation of his campaign’s core messages, while Democrat Hillary Clinton sees the episode as further evidence that Trump is unfit to be president.
    Video

    Video New York Pride March A Celebration of Life, Mourning of Loss

    At this year’s march in New York marking the end of pride week, a record-breaking crowd of LGBT activists and allies marched down Manhattan's Fifth Avenue, in what will be long remembered as a powerful display of solidarity and remembrance for the 49 victims killed two weeks ago in an Orlando gay nightclub.
    Video

    Video NASA Juno Spacecraft, Nearing Jupiter, to Shed Light on Gas Giant

    After a five-year journey, the spacecraft Juno is nearing its destination, the giant planet Jupiter, where it will enter orbit and start sending data back July 4th. As Mike O'Sullivan reports from Pasadena, California, the craft will pierce the veil of Jupiter's dense cloud cover to reveal its mysteries.
    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 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.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora