News / Africa

Rifts Exposed in Libya's Rebel Ranks

Mustafa Abdel Jalil, chairman of the Libyan National Transitional Council walks in front of a poster of slain Libyan rebels military commander General Abdel Fattah Younes after speaking at a news conference in Benghazi, Libya, August 9, 2011
Mustafa Abdel Jalil, chairman of the Libyan National Transitional Council walks in front of a poster of slain Libyan rebels military commander General Abdel Fattah Younes after speaking at a news conference in Benghazi, Libya, August 9, 2011
Elizabeth Arrott

Libya's rebel leadership is being reshuffled after the killing of its military commander. The death of General Abdel Fattah Younis late last month exposed divisions within the Benghazi government, a rift echoed in the split between rebels in the east and west.

Rebel politician Mamoud Jabril has been asked to come up with a new executive board for the rebel's Transitional National Council. A rebel spokesman says the new members are expected to be announced soon, although no deadline was given.

Council Chairman Mustafa Abdel Jalil dismissed the 14-member board Monday, following accusations that some were directly involved in General Younis' death.

TNC probes Younis' death


The rebel military commander was shot and killed July 28 after being summoned to Benghazi for questioning about possible lingering ties to Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi. The TNC said it is investigating his death, which has further divided the fledgling rebel government.

The rebel leaders also are moving to unify the military forces. An official in the opposition interior ministry announced Tuesday there will be a reorganization of the rebel's military forces.

Ahmed Hussein said that current "security formations" will be dissolved and brought in under the command of either his ministry or the army.    

Tensions within the opposition military have been apparent for some time, fueled largely by a rivalry between Younis and Khalifa Haftar, a popular opposition figure who returned from exile in the United States.

Rift impedes TNC progress

Zaid Akl is an analyst on Libya at the Ahram Center in Cairo and believes such tensions have been more than the TNC can always handle.

"The degree of institutionalization of the Council is still somewhat immature and that is why a lot of personal interferences sort of influence the outcome, the general, organized political behavior of the Council," said Akl.

Six months into the uprising, the Council is still trying to solidify its position. In addition to the political and military reshuffle, officials say they will insist that cabinet members spend more time in Benghazi, rather than drumming up support in foreign capitals.

The international politicking has paid off, however, with a string of nations granting diplomatic recognition to the government in Benghazi.  Less clear is the opposition's military success. Despite the massive air support provided by NATO, working under a U.N. mandate, rebels in the east have been bogged down in the oil port of Brega for months.

Imbalance for military operations

What little success the opposition has enjoyed mainly has been the work of rebel forces in the west. They currently hold the western town of Bir al-Ghanam, about 80 kilometers from Tripoli, the closest the rebels have been to the capital yet.

Akl believes a certain amount of decentralization has been necessary.

"The separation between the power in the east - of the National Transitional Council - and the forces in the west, take place on a very small level that would allow for quick, on-the-field sort of assessment of the situation, and yet that would allow also for a degree of cooperation and coordination between the existing authority in the east and the field forces in the west," he said.

But Akl doesn't underestimate the fault lines within the opposition.

"It would be very naive to think Libya would be unified and united under one opinion or one banner. This will not happen. Libya was always divided under three regions. But the authority and the legitimacy of the National Transitional Council, that is very much opposed to the disintegration of Libya, will be a major factor here," he said.

Despite the council's current troubles, Akl argues the theme of national unity, along with foreign support, and the relative success in the day-to-day running of eastern Libya, will go far to support the TNC's claim of representing all of the rebel movement.




You May Like

WHO: Anti-Ebola Efforts Should Focus on West Africa

Official says WHO is 'reasonably confident' countries bordering those hardest hit by the Ebola outbreak are not seeing the virus crossing their borders More

South Sudan Crisis Threatens Development

Economic costs and lost development opportunities in South Sudan have erased what little progress the country has made since independence in 2011 More

Ukraine PM Warns Russia May Try to Disrupt Sunday Poll

Arseniy Yatsenyuk orders full security mobilization for parliamentary election to prevent ‘terrorist acts’ from being carried out 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.
After Decades of Pressure, Luxembourg Drops Bank Secrecy Rulesi
X
October 21, 2014 12:20 AM
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 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 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 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.
Video

Video Young Nairobi Tech Innovator on 'Track' in Security Business

A 24-year-old technology innovator in Nairobi has invented a tracking device that monitors and secures cars. He has also come up with what he claims is the most robust audio-visual surveillance system yet. As Lenny Ruvaga reports from the Kenyan capital, his innovations are offering alternative security solutions.
Video

Video Latinas Converting to Islam for Identity, Structure

Latinos are one of the fastest growing groups in the Muslim religion. According to the Pew Research Center, about 6 percent of American Muslims are Latino. And a little more than half of new converts are female. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti travelled to Miami, Florida -- where two out of every three residents is Hispanic -- to learn more.
Video

Video Exclusive: American Joins Kurds' Anti-IS Fight

The United States and other Western nations have expressed alarm about their citizens joining Islamic State forces in Syria and Iraq. In a rare counterpoint to the phenomenon, an American has taken up arms with the militants' Syrian Kurdish opponents. Elizabeth Arrott has more in this exclusive profile by VOA Kurdish reporter Zana Omer in Ras al Ayn, Syria.
Video

Video South Korea Confronts Violence Within Military Ranks

Every able-bodied South Korean male between 18 and 35 must serve for 21 to 36 months in the country’s armed forces, depending upon the specific branch. For many, service is a rite of passage to manhood. But there are growing concerns that bullying and violence come along with the tradition. Reporter Jason Strother has more from Seoul.
Video

Video North Carolina Emerges as Key Election Battleground

U.S. congressional midterm elections will be held on November 4th and most political analysts give Republicans an excellent chance to win a majority in the U.S. Senate, which Democrats now control. So what are the issues driving voters in this congressional election year? VOA National Correspondent Jim Malone traveled to North Carolina, one of the most politically competitive states in the country, to find out.
Video

Video Comanche People Maintain Pride in Their Heritage

The Comanche (Indian nation) once were called the “Lords of the Plains,” with an empire that included half the land area of current day Texas, large parts of Oklahoma, New Mexico, Kansas and Colorado.The fierceness and battle prowess of these warriors on horseback delayed the settlement of most of West Texas for four decades. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Lawton, Oklahoma, that while their warrior days are over, the 15,000 members of the Comanche Nation remain a proud people.
Video

Video Turkey Campus Attacks Raise Islamic Radicalization Fears

Concerns are growing in Turkey of Islamic radicalization at some universities, after clashes between supporters of the jihadist group Islamic State (IS) or ISIS, and those opposed to the extremists. Pro-jihadist literature is on sale openly on the streets of Istanbul. Critics accuse the government of turning a blind eye to radicalism at home, while Kurds accuse the president of supporting IS - a charge strongly denied. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.

All About America

AppleAndroid