News / Middle East

Who Are the Libyan Rebels?

National Transitional Council chairman Mustafa Abdul-Jalil, speaks during a press conference at the rebel-held town of Benghazi, Libya, August 20, 2011
National Transitional Council chairman Mustafa Abdul-Jalil, speaks during a press conference at the rebel-held town of Benghazi, Libya, August 20, 2011

Over the past several months, one Western nation after another turned against Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi and recognized the opposition Transitional National Council as Libya's legitimate government. Recognition of the TNC's role came despite lingering questions about the group's composition and its plans for Libya's future.

In announcing U.S. recognition of the TNC July 15, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton described the group as "the legitimate governing authority for Libya."  

The recognized leader of the TNC is Mustafa Abdul Jalil, a judge from the eastern Libyan town of al-Bayida who in recent years had regularly criticized Gadhafi's government. He resigned as Libya's justice minister in February when the uprising against Gadhafi's nearly 42 years of autocratic rule began after protests that swept neighboring Tunisia and Egypt.

Images of Libya's key players

As the rebels surged into the Libyan capital, Tripoli, Monday, Jalil proclaimed, "The Gadhafi era is over."

Two other men have proved important in representing the rebels to the outside world: Mahmoud Jebril, who as head of the country's National Economic Development Council had fostered privatization of state-run industries, and Ali Aziz al-Eisawi, who was the country's ambassador to India and was the first of Gadhafi's envoys to resign.

The TNC has 31 members, but only 13 were identified in the early stages of the uprising. The rest remained secret for security reasons, but were believed to be dissidents living in the western part of Libya that until recently was under Mr. Gadhafi's control.

The TNC had a clear mission in mind, declaring at its inception in early March that it faced a turning point in the country's history. The Council said it could "achieve freedom and race to catch up with humanity" or could remain "shackled and enslaved under the feet of the tyrant Moammar Gadhafi."

Now the rebels are on the cusp of achieving their goal of ending Gadhafi's rule.

Some information for this report was provided by AP, AFP and Reuters.

Follow our Middle East reports on Twitter
and discuss them on our Facebook page.

You May Like

China Investigates Former Powerful Security Chief

Former security chief and member of Politburo Standing Committee, Zhou Yongkang, under investigation for suspected 'serious disciplinary violation' More

India, US Look to Reset Ties During Kerry Visit

This week's talks will be first high level interaction between two countries since Prime Minister Narendra Modi took charge More

Video Young African Leadership Program Renamed to Honor Mandela

YALI program, launched by President Obama in 2010, aims to build skills in business, entrepreneurship, public management and civic leadership 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.
Vietnamese Staging Chinese Product Boycott After Oil Rig Spati
X
Reasey Poch
July 28, 2014 7:18 PM
China recently pulled an oil rig from an area of the disputed South China Sea that Vietnam also claims. Despite the action, the incident has had a lingering effect on consumers in Vietnam. VOA's Reasey Poch reports from Hanoi on an effort to boycott Chinese products.
Video

Video Vietnamese Staging Chinese Product Boycott After Oil Rig Spat

China recently pulled an oil rig from an area of the disputed South China Sea that Vietnam also claims. Despite the action, the incident has had a lingering effect on consumers in Vietnam. VOA's Reasey Poch reports from Hanoi on an effort to boycott Chinese products.
Video

Video ESA Spacecraft to Land on a Comet

After a long flight through deep space, a European Space Agency probe is finally approaching its target -- a comet millions of kilometers away from earth. Scientists say the mission may lead to some startling discoveries about the origins of the water on earth. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Young Africans Arrive in US for Leadership Program

President Barack Obama's Young African Leadership Initiative has brought hundreds of young Africans to the United States for a six-week program aimed at building their knowledge and skills in fields such as public administration and business. Out of the 50,000 young Africans who applied for the program, just one percent was accepted. VOA's Laurel Bowman caught up with some of those who made the cut and has this report.
Video

Video In Honduras, Amnesty Rumors Fuel US Migration Surges

False rumors in Central America are fueling the current surge of undocumented young people being apprehended at the U.S. border. The inaccurate claims suggest the U.S. will give amnesty to young migrants from the region. As VOA's Brian Padden reports from Honduras, these rumors trace back to President Obama's 2012 executive order to halt deportations for some young undocumented immigrants already living in the United States.
Video

Video Students in Business for Themselves

They're only high school students, but they are making accessories for shoes, fabricating backpacks and doing product photography - all through their own businesses. It's the result of a partnership between a non-profit organization that teaches entrepreneurship and their schools. VOA's Mike O'Sullivan and Deyane Moses met the budding entrepreneurs near Los Angeles.
Video

Video Astronauts Train in Underwater Lab

In the world’s only underwater laboratory, four U.S. astronauts train for a planned visit to an asteroid. The lab - called Aquarius- is located five kilometers off Key Largo, in southern Florida. Living in close quarters and making excursions only into the surrounding ocean, they try to simulate the daily routine of a crew that will someday travel to collect samples of a rock orbiting far away from earth. VOA’s George Putic has more.

AppleAndroid