Worse before it get’s better?

With what remains of the Gaddafi forces causing trouble, albeit in Tripoli, attention has switched to the interim govenment of the National Transitional Council.

The ministries have been allocated but now the governing must begin. The people of Libya and the West with its purse strings for development aid, are watching and waiting to see what will happen. There are signs however that it will not be easy.

It has been reported that “officials close to the NTC describe the fissures that have opened up between top military commanders and political officials. Tensions between Western-backed liberals and homegrown Islamists are on the rise”. Worse still “there are the divisions between the leadership that spent most of the uprising in the relatively safe rebel-controlled city of Benghazi and the people who fought on the ground to liberate Libyan cities”, not only that but “everyone seems to have it out for Mahmoud Jibril, the de facto prime minister who is effectively Jalil’s deputy and foreign minister”.

If this is indeed true, the nascent Libyan government is in poor shape that will only get worse. This in turn could destabilise the government with ministers not getting the portfolio they desire, violence could break out and Gaddafi who held the country together, more or less, could be seen as in nostalgia. This is thankfully impossible, for now, as the memories are still too fresh and optomisim still reasonably high. Time is running out and deals need to be reached with a new constitution drawn up and parties formed and the beginnings of a civil society starting.

The writer quotes a source who said “‘Jibril is appointing family members and businessmen to high positions. That’s exactly what Qaddafi did and exactly what we don’t want.’ The insiders pointed to Aref Nayed, the ambassador to the United Arab Emirates and head of the stabilization team, as an example of a Jibril loyalist who has been given a free ride. Others complained that Jibril is working to gain control over Qaddafi’s frozen assets, which a few countries including the Netherlands and Spain have started to release back to the NTC”.

The writer mentions how “the military, too, have voiced their opposition to Jibril’s leadership. While the civilian government has attempted to control the different armed brigades that have parked around the capital, units have not responded to their requests to pack up and return home. Brigades from Misrata, including some of the country’s fiercest fighters, refuse to leave until they believe Tripoli is secure — no matter what the NTC or the Tripoli Military Committee says”.

It is up to the West to push the right decisions to be made within the NTC either using local actors or their own experts. It is in the interests of both the Libyans, Europe and the US for the next months and years to go as smootly as possible. If not all the good work that has been done will be for nothing.


2 Responses to “Worse before it get’s better?”

  1. Sohail Nakhooda Says:

    I am not sure on which “source” you are relying, but Aref Nayed is not a relative of Mahmoud Jibril. They belong to the same wider Wirfalla tribe, but this tribe is almost a million in number so its only likely that some posts may include them. Also, what grounds do you maintain that such appointments were due to family connections rather than competence for the task? Also, I am puzzled by the assertion that Aref Nayed has been given “free ride”. Such an assertion displays your ignorance the work that Aref Nayed was doing within the Free Libya movement prior to his appointment as a coodinator of the Libya Stabilization Team and his later appointment as ambassador. In both cases the decision did not solely rest on Mahmoud Jibril but through deliberations by the NTC. I would also point out the Nayed’s appointment to establish the stabilization team was made by Mustafa Abdul Jalil and not Jibril.

    I think your ignorance on the work of the stabilization team and developments within the Libya mar your analysis.

    With thanks

    Sohail Nakhooda

    • orderandtradition Says:

      Thank you for your comment. Whatever analysis I have made is based on articles that I have hyperlinked, in this case Foreign Policy magazine. If my analysis it is due to this.

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