News / Africa

Takeover of Gadhaffi’s Compound a Milestone, Says Scholar

Middle East expert cautions rebels’ mission won’t be complete until Libyan leader is captured

Ashenafi Abedje

The takeover of Moammar Gadhaffi’s residential compound in Tripoli represents a significant achievement for Libyan rebels, said a scholar with the Washington-based Middle East Institute.

“The compound was a very large complex,” says Wayne White, who previously served as the State Department’s Middle East intelligence official. “There were at one time substantial defenders inside it and (it) also contained an arsenal of communications. So liberating it was very important and has national symbolic significance,” he said.

But White cautioned that a lot more remains to be done.

“There’s some heavy fighting going on,” he said. “The area adjacent to that complex has not been liberated, and there’s a large prison there where prisoners who supported ‘the Awakening’ may be held, so there’s a hard fight awaiting the rebels.”

Their mission will not be complete until the Libyan leader is captured, said White. But he added that there are still areas in the country where Mr. Ghadaffi may take refuge and engage in military action.

“I presume he and a number of his senior officials already may well be outside of Tripoli and…taking shelter,” he said.

Establishing law and order is an immediate concern for the rebels, White said, adding that their brief record is encouraging.

“So far, we have seen a very good sense of law and order both in the east that’s been under the TNC (Transitional National Council) and in Tripoli, where neighborhood watch groups are out and there’s only been scattered looting.”

The Middle East scholar said the rebels should maintain law and order among their own forces. “Instead of having about 80 percent of their forces celebrating, they need to better organize their forces and go after real targets,” he said.

The rebels are capable of establishing law and order with minimal foreign assistance, White said.

“What they’ll need very badly is a lot of foreign technical assistance to restore the oil and other key infrastructures.”

He said Libya is deficient in that kind of technology and depends heavily on outside help.

The rebels comprise a “rainbow coalition” of groups with divergent views, said White, and rebels from the east and the west have different levels of achievement.

“The eastern council has been unable to press beyond Brega for months to the west, whereas in the west, with very little support (other than NATO,) the rebels gathered themselves and ultimately liberated Tripoli.”

White predicts a likely scenario once things are settled: “an east-west rivalry for power and representation.”

You May Like

Ebola Death Toll Nears 5,000 as Virus Advances

West Africa bears heaviest burden; Mali toddler’s death raises new fears More

Jordan’s Battle With Islamic State Militants Carries Domestic Risks

Despite Western concerns that IS militants are preparing a Jordanian offensive, analysts call the kingdom's solid intel a strong deterrent More

Asian-Americans Assume Office in Record Numbers

Steadily deepening engagement in local politics pays off for politicians like Chinese-American Judy Chu 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 Comanche Chief Quanah Parker’s Century-Old House Falling Apart

One of the most fascinating people in U.S. history was Quanah Parker, the last chief of the American Indian tribe, the Comanche. He was the son of a Comanche warrior and a white woman who had been captured by the Indians. Parker was a fierce warrior until 1875 when he led his people to Fort Sill, Oklahoma, and took on a new, peaceful life. As VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Cache, Oklahoma, Quanah’s image remains strong among his people, but part of his heritage is in danger of disappearing.
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