Analysts Hint at New Civil War in “Liberated” Libya

By:  Alex Newman
10/25/2011
       
Analysts Hint at New Civil War in “Liberated” Libya

Even as the National Transitional Council (NTC) declared Libya “liberated” following the violent death of former strongman Col. Muammar Gadhafi, analysts were warning that civil war might continue to rage on as militia groups and armed factions struggle to seize power. And with real elections tentatively scheduled for 2013 at the earliest, the worst may be yet to come.

Western leaders have been demanding that all of the revolutionary groups unify behind the NTC. But widely divergent interests — including remaining pro-Gadhafi forces and victims of NATO bombings and rebel brutality — would seem to make that a difficult proposition, according to Libyans and outside analysts. 

 

Even as the National Transitional Council (NTC) declared Libya “liberated” following the violent death of former strongman Col. Muammar Gadhafi, analysts were warning that civil war might continue to rage on as militia groups and armed factions struggle to seize power. And with real elections tentatively scheduled for 2013 at the earliest, the worst may be yet to come.

Western leaders have been demanding that all of the revolutionary groups unify behind the NTC. But widely divergent interests — including remaining pro-Gadhafi forces and victims of NATO bombings and rebel brutality — would seem to make that a difficult proposition, according to Libyans and outside analysts. 

There are many critical and possibly irreconcilable fault lines dividing Libyan society — Islamists, liberals, tribal chiefs, ethic groups, Gadhafi loyalists, desert nomads, regional factions, and more. The potential for a new explosion of violence, therefore, exists and will persist.

Some of the competing groups and interests were able to unite around deposing the Libyan government. But now that it is officially ousted, the already-tense situation becomes even more complex.

Various self-appointed councils, committees, militias, and brigades continue bickering, with some even producing arrest warrants for leaders of others. And many of the groups and chiefs have so far refused to recognize the NTC as the new legitimate regime.

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Photo of Libyans celebrating Oct. 23 as transitional government declares liberation of Libya: AP Images 

 

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