News / Africa

Libya's NTC Faces Immediate, Long-Term Challenges

People flash victory signs as they gather at Martyrs Square after Friday prayers in Tripoli, September 2, 2011
People flash victory signs as they gather at Martyrs Square after Friday prayers in Tripoli, September 2, 2011

Multimedia

Elizabeth Arrott

A week after declaring it had moved to Tripoli, Libya's National Transitional Council has yet to establish a firm footing in the capital. It looks like it will be a long road ahead for the provisional authorities.

The burst of enthusiasm after Tripoli fell to the rebels helps to explain the overly optimistic announcement that provisional authorities had set up shop in the capital. But the reality is proving more daunting.

In the short term, NTC forces must rout the last of Moammar Gadhafi's troops. Officials who are in Tripoli struggle to provide regular running water and electricity. And they need to disarm militias.

Tripoli representative Al Amin Belhaj said the NTC's six months in opposition have been a guide.

"We have learned and learned experience from the eastern side, in Benghazi, where the police and the security people left their jobs, and we had a problem to bring them back. No, no, no, in Tripoli we will not do that. They are a major part of rebuilding the security in Tripoli," said Belhaj.

Not everyone in Tripoli is confident that bringing Gadhafi loyalists into the fold will be easy.

Yusef Mohammed, a civil engineer in the city, said, "This will take some time, before they return their mentality because no education, nothing. I mean, even in the TV [there were] five or six channels all that he's talking about is killing and how to treat people badly."

The NTC has said from the beginning it wants a united Libya, and despite some internal divisions, has received at least initial support from other factions.

Saleh Wali ran an opposition cell in the capital independent of the NTC. He said he is happy to follow NTC orders.

"We are all agree that Mustafa Abdel Jalil, he's our new president and really we like him. Nice person, good person. He and Mr. Mohamed Jabril. Really, really, I feel that, all the people, they love them," said Wali.

Equally important, the NTC leaders have friends abroad. Billions of dollars have been pledged in aid and unfrozen Libyan assets. But outside help could come at a cost, as Gadhafi loyalists accuse the NTC of selling out to foreigners interested only in Libya's oil wealth.

Optimism remains, though. Salem el-Maiar, a member of Britain's Society for Libyan Studies, is hopeful the NTC is on the right track.

"It’s been quite a burdensome and quite a heavy inheritance that we had. Forty-two years is an extremely long time and it can not be changed overnight. Obviously, we need at least a good decade to get things back to normal in terms of politics, economical, social and all aspects of life in Libya," said el-Maiar.

But with the current problems of the transitional government, time may not be an ally.

You May Like

Is Air Travel Safe?

Aviation expert says despite tragic losses of Malaysian Airlines flights 370 and 17, industry experienced lowest fatality rate in recorded history last year More

Multimedia 100 Days Later, Nigerian Girls Still Held

Activists holding rallies in Nigeria and several other countries to mark 100th day of captivity for more than 200 schoolgirls being held by Boko Haram More

Chocolate Too Bitter? Swap Sugar for Mushrooms

US food technology company develops fermentation process using mushrooms to reduce bitterness in cocoa beans, believes it will cut sugar content in candy 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.
US Carriers Suspend Travel to Israeli
X
Carolyn Presutti
July 23, 2014 1:21 AM
The United States is prohibiting American carriers from flying to Israel's airport in Tel Aviv for 24 hours, because of rising violence between Israel and Hamas militants. The action was announced on Tuesday, after a rocket fired by Hamas militants in the Gaza Strip landed near the airport. As VOA's Carolyn Presutti tells us, international officials soon may have to determine which combat zones are too dangerous for commercial flights.
Video

Video US Carriers Suspend Travel to Israel

The United States is prohibiting American carriers from flying to Israel's airport in Tel Aviv for 24 hours, because of rising violence between Israel and Hamas militants. The action was announced on Tuesday, after a rocket fired by Hamas militants in the Gaza Strip landed near the airport. As VOA's Carolyn Presutti tells us, international officials soon may have to determine which combat zones are too dangerous for commercial flights.
Video

Video NASA Focuses on Earth-Like Planets

For decades, looking for life elsewhere in the universe meant listening for signals that could be from distant civilizations. But recent breakthroughs in space technology refocused some of that effort toward finding planets that may harbor life, even in its primitive form. VOA’s George Putic reports on a recent panel discussion at NASA’s headquarters, in Washington.
Video

Video IAEA: Iran Turns its Enriched Uranium Into Less Harmful Form

Iran has converted its stockpiles of enriched uranium into a less dangerous form that is more difficult to use for nuclear weapons, according to the United Nations’ Atomic Energy Agency. The move complies with an interim deal reached with Western powers on Iran's nuclear program last year, in exchange for easing of sanctions. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video Relic of Saint Draws Catholics Worried About Immigration Issue

A Roman Catholic saint who is a figure of devotion for those crossing the border into the United States is attracting believers concerned about the plight of undocumented immigrants. Mike O'Sullivan reports from Los Angeles, where a relic of Saint Toribio has drawn thousands to local churches.
Video

Video US Awards Medal of Honor for Heroics in Bloodiest of Afghan Battles

U.S. combat troops are withdrawing from Afghanistan, on pace to leave the country by the end of this year. But on Monday, U.S. President Barack Obama took time to honor a soldier whose actions while under fire in Afghanistan earned him the Medal of Honor. VOA's Jeff Seldin has more from the Pentagon.
Video

Video Ukraine Rebels Surrender MH17 Black Boxes

After days of negotiations, a senior separatist leader handed over two black boxes from an airliner downed over eastern Ukraine to Malaysian experts early Tuesday. While on Monday, the U.N. Security Council unanimously demanded that armed groups controlling the crash site allow safe and unrestricted access to the wreckage.
Video

Video In Cambodia, HIV Diagnosis Brings Deadly Shame

Although HIV/AIDS is now a treatable condition, a positive diagnosis is still a life altering experience. In Cambodia, people living with HIV are often disowned by friends, family and the community. This humiliation can be unbearable. We bring you one Cambodian woman’s struggle to overcome a life tragedy and her own HIV positive diagnosis.
Video

Video Nature of Space Exploration Enters New Age

Forty-five years ago this month, the first humans walked on the moon. It was during an era of the space race between the United States and the Soviet Union. World politics have changed since then and -- as Elizabeth Lee reports -- so has the nature of space exploration.

AppleAndroid