News / Africa

Libyan Opposition Wants to Quit Fighting, Start Building

Rebel fighters and a television cameraman take shelter as an intense gun battle erupted outside the Corinthia hotel, where many foreign journalists are staying, in Tripoli, Libya, August 25, 2011
Rebel fighters and a television cameraman take shelter as an intense gun battle erupted outside the Corinthia hotel, where many foreign journalists are staying, in Tripoli, Libya, August 25, 2011

The bodies of Libyans killed in the rebel push for Tripoli still lie in the streets outside Moammar Gadhafi's former headquarters compound.  But even as the opposition struggles against pockets of government resistance, many Libyans are looking beyond the dramatic events of the past week to what they hope will be a radically new and normal country. 


Momentum

Most of the physical infrastructure is still here.  NATO airstrikes took out many government positions, but the basics for civilian life, water, electricity, food, if now in short supply, are beginning to come back.

Libyan rebel Fitori Abdl Khadar
Libyan rebel Fitori Abdl Khadar

Fitori Abdl Khadr, a resident of the largely rebel-held capital, wants to keep that momentum going. "We need to stop fighting and we need to start building," said Khadr.  

Standing near the shores of the Mediterranean, the 23-year-old, gun slung over his shoulder, concedes it is not all over yet.  Rebels stomp proudly on torn-down posters of Colonel Gadhafi, even as many of the haphazard checkpoints around the capital stand unmanned.   Abdl Khadr thinks there may be a week or so to go.  In the meantime, he thinks, opposition forces can split up the work.

"We can make teams to fight and teams to build.  We need Libya go back fast as we can," said Khadr.

Loyalties

A former computer technician, he hopes to be part of both.  Abdl Khadr left his job with the now-defunct state television to join the opposition cause three months ago.  But he says his loyalties lay with the opposition from the start of the uprising back in February.  

"When I worked with the government," said Khadr. "I see everything.  I know to the revolution, but the government doesn't know."  

Abdl Khadr explains his delay in openly siding with the opposition.  His father had called for reforms in an online forum and was known to the government. The son says both he and his father were detained after the protests began.  He says he got the cautionary message Colonel Gadhafi had sent.     

"I fear about my family and my father," he said. "Maybe he kill him.  You know, he [Gadhafi] is a crazy man.  He kills everyone, no problem."  

New Libya

That fear of death helped Colonel Gadhafi run Libya for 42 years, an intensely authoritarian rule built on the idiosyncrasies of one man.  Government institutions of the kind most people would recognize did not exist.  The same was true of civil society.  But Abdl Khadr's hoped-for new Libya has one advantage.   

"You know, all fighting in this revolution is not unknowing [uneducated] men.  It's skilled men.  We have doctors who have guns and [they] fight with us.  We have engineers. Everyone in the revolution, I think, he has skills," he said.  

For Abdl Khadr, the sooner these professionals can lay down their arms and start building a new society, the better.   The young man himself was back at state television this week, making sure the antenna for post-Gadhafi broadcasting was in working order.

You May Like

Ukraine Purges Interior Ministry Leadership With Pro-Russian Ties

Interior Minister Avakov says 91 people 'in positions of leadership' have been fired, including 8 generals found to have links to past pro-Moscow governments More

US Airlines Point to Additional Problems of any Ebola Travel Ban

Airline officials note that even under travel ban, they may not be able to determine where passenger set out from, as there are no direct flights from Liberia, Guinea or Sierra Leone More

Nigerian President to Seek Another Term

Goodluck Jonathan has faced intense criticism for failing to stop Boko Haram militants 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.
Talks to Resume on Winter Gas for Ukrainei
X
Al Pessin
October 25, 2014 4:21 PM
Ukrainian and Russian officials will meet again next week in an effort to settle their dispute over natural gas supplies that threatens to leave Ukraine short of heating fuel for the coming winter. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London the dispute is complex, and has both economic and geopolitical dimensions.
Video

Video Talks to Resume on Winter Gas for Ukraine

Ukrainian and Russian officials will meet again next week in an effort to settle their dispute over natural gas supplies that threatens to leave Ukraine short of heating fuel for the coming winter. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London the dispute is complex, and has both economic and geopolitical dimensions.
Video

Video Smugglers Offer Cheap Passage From Turkey to Syria

Smugglers in Turkey offer a relatively cheap passage across the border into Syria. Ankara has stepped up efforts to stem the flow of foreign fighters who want to join Islamic State militants fighting for control of the Syrian border city of Kobani. But porous borders and border guards who can be bribed make illegal border crossings quite easy. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video China Political Meeting Seeks to Improve Rule of Law

China’s communist leaders will host a top level political meeting this week, called the Fourth Plenum, and for the first time in the party’s history, rule of law will be a key item on the agenda. Analysts and Chinese media reports say the meetings could see the approval of long-awaited measures aimed at giving courts more independence and include steps to enhance an already aggressive and high-reaching anti-corruption drive. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
Video

Video After Decades of Pressure, Luxembourg Drops Bank Secrecy Rules

European Union finance ministers have reached a breakthrough agreement that will make it more difficult for tax cheats to hide their money. The new legislation, which had been blocked for years by countries with a reputation as tax havens, was approved last week after Luxembourg and Austria agreed to lift their vetoes. But as Mil Arcega reports, it doesn’t mean tax cheats have run out of places to keep their money hidden.
Video

Video Kobani Refugees Welcome, Turkey Criticizes, US Airdrop

Residents of Kobani in northern Syria have welcomed the airdrop of weapons, ammunition and medicine to Kurdish militia who are resisting the seizure of their city by Islamic State militants. The Turkish government, however, has criticized the operation. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from southeastern Turkey, across the border from Kobani.
Video

Video US ‘Death Cafes’ Put Focus on the Finale

In contemporary America, death usually is a topic to be avoided. But the growing “death café” movement encourages people to discuss their fears and desires about their final moments. VOA’s Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Ebola Orphanage Opens in Sierra Leone

Sierra Leone's first Ebola orphanage has opened in the Kailahun district. Hundreds of children orphaned since the beginning of the Ebola outbreak face stigma and rejection with nobody to care for them. Adam Bailes reports for VOA about a new interim care center that's aimed at helping the growing number of children affected by Ebola.

All About America

AppleAndroid