A forum devoted to current political, economic trends, and news of the Maghreb region.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

The End of Qaddafi: A New Beginning for Libya

Dramatic news out Libya today. After weeks in hiding, Qaddafi is dead. The TNC has confirmed the news of Qaddafi and his son Mu'tassim's death today through its vice-chairman, Abdul Hafiz Ghoga. The details of Qaddafi's death are still unclear and there are several unconfirmed reports about the colonel's last minutes. Apparently, Qaddafi's convoy was shot by a US drone and after an attempt to flee, Qaddafi was later found holed in a storm rain where he was captured alive but wounded by rebel forces. The Daily Mail reports that the former dictator pleaded with his captors in vain and subsequently killed by the rebels (this vide show Qaddafi's capture by the rebels).

What's clear is that his death marks the effective end of 42 year-tyrannical rule and comes at the heel of successive military victories by the TNC forces. The demise of Qaddafi is only the beginning of the much tougher task of re-building Libya on new firm and democratic foundations. In a country that lacks minimum institutional structures, that task is increasingly difficult, complicated by deep regional and tribal divisions.

This latest episode in the Libyan saga will undoubtedly bring about the end of the military involvement of NATO in the conflict. It also signals a shift in international interventionism in global affairs as it is a successful precedent for calibrated and measured military involvement against states' imminent threat to their own people. It inevitably raises issues of double standards as the same approach has not been pursued in other cases, such as Syria, Yemen and Bahrain still reeling from tremendous state violence. 

The news from Libya today will also provide much needed boost to some fledgling protest movements in other parts of the Arab world. This could embolden protest and oppositional factions as there is a increased palpable sense of regime vulnerability in much of the Middle East today. Some already see it as a message to Arab rulers for swift meaningful reforms.

As Libya celebrates its emancipation from the last vestiges of the former despotic regime, Tunisia is entering a new chapter in its nascent political history. The country is holding its first post-Ben Ali and the first post-Arab spring elections for a 217-member constituent assembly on Sunday. The stakes are high for the Maghrebi state, but the first phase of voter and party list registration concluded last month in relatively calm and transparent environment. Some 10000 candidates from over 100 parties are contesting the elections, but the major cleavages remain the Islamists of Ennahda and the center left (secular) Progressive Democratic Party (PDP). Future posts will attempt an analysis of the results of the elections and future trajectories for the Tunisian experiment.


Keeny said...

His body, bloodied, half naked, Gaddafi's trademark long curls hanging limp around a rarely seen bald spot, was delivered, a prize of war, to Misrata, the city west of Sirte whose siege and months of suffering at the hands of Gaddafi's artillery and sniper made it a symbol of the rebel cause.

A quick and secret burial was due later on Friday.

"It's time to start a new Libya, a united Libya," Prime Minister Mahmoud Jibril declared. "One people, one future."

A formal announcement of Libya's liberation, which will set the clock ticking on a timeline to elections, would be made on Saturday, Libyan officials said.

Two months after Western-backed rebels ended 42 years of eccentric one-man rule by capturing the capital Tripoli, his death ended a nervous hiatus for the new interim government.

U.S. President Barack Obama, in a veiled dig at the Syrian and other leaders resisting the democrats of the Arab Spring, declared "the rule of an iron fist inevitably comes to an end."

But Gaddafi's death is a setback to campaigners seeking the full truth about the 1988 bombing over Lockerbie in Scotland of Pan Am flight 103 which claimed 270 lives, mainly Americans, and for which one of Gaddafi's agents was convicted.

Aamir said...

The biggest challenge is ahead for Libya after Qaddafi's death, as they require a true leader who should be selected through proper democratic elections and responsible for country's progress in right direction.