By Haider Ali.
In Libya a disaster looms mainly due to tribal factions beginning to wage war upon one another. This has been highly exacerbated by the intervention of NATO and its no fly zone. Toppling the Gaddafi regime has only fragmented the society further, not to forget the major damage that has been done to the infrastructure in the country primarily down to the bombing raids launched by NATO and her allies.
Very hard it is to imagine how a country such as Libya, which enjoyed the status of “best standard of living in the African continent”, is going to reach such great heights again. The puppet regime that has been put in place, the National Transitional Council is already being accused of embezzlement and corruption via humanitarian organisations. Last month calls were being made to the NTC leader Mustafa Abdul Jalil to make transparent its voting decisions and memberships, which it has thus far failed to do.
Accusations are being made against the NTC and the rebels, who fought alongside one another, of torture and prison abuse from former Muammar Gaddafi supporters. Many are stated as to living in a state of fear with gun patrols often imposing curfews and causing general disgruntlement among the local populous.
The Libyan society is likely to disintegrate into deeper anarchy with checkpoints being made and territorial lines being drawn along the lines of tribes, something that Gaddafi vowed to eradicate after he seized power and something he managed to do fairly successfully. With the country now in chaos, the NTC and its allies, comprised of the Magariha clan and the Warfalla tribe, are bound to be pitted against the tribe of Gaddafi called Qadhadfa.
For nigh on decades, Gaddafi had managed to maintain a delicate balance between the trio through policies that promoted social mobility and urbanisation. It has all been undone and rumours seem to be permeating about the Magriha and Warfalla tribes even turning their guns on one another at this point. The National Transitional Council has failed to get a foothold in the country and lacks any real credibility in the country in spite of promised reforms and modernisation.
It is very unfortunate to think that we will be witnessing another Iraq type situation were divisions become even deeper. Whilst it’s easy to be critical of the West’s role in this whole debacle, they have to now allow the Libyan people to decide their own fate but going by past experience they won’t do this. The British will try to monopolise the vast oil reserves and the French have already made headway in trying to take control of the water reserves that are available in Libya.
If the allies within NATO had a conscience they would salvage what they could and make the best out of a bad situation. The most important thing the West should do is free up the estimated hundred billion dollars that Libya has in assets. These finances will help allow the Libyans to shore up their damaged infrastructure and to get the economy moving again. From that point on the National Transitional Council should be disbanded and free and fair elections held with the Libyans deciding who they want to be head of state, not somebody who has been imposed on them. On this course of action, Libya can make a safe passage on the road to what should be an arduous recovery.