Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Rebels Prepare for Libya Transition

At WaPo, "Libyan opposition leaders prepare for transition":

BENGHAZI, Libya — With rebel fighters celebrating in the streets of Tripoli on Tuesday, opposition leaders in this eastern Libyan city now face tough questions about how they will guide the country through what is expected to be a tumultuous transition.

Some observers have begun to question whether the rebels — ostensibly led by the Benghazi-based Transitional National Council — are up to the task of restarting a failed economy after six months of war, restoring peace, and assuring Libyans and foreign benefactors that they are capable of leading the country.

The rebels have been plagued by infighting almost from the moment they first rose to challenge Col. Moammar Gaddafi, and the friction has not subsided despite celebrations on Tuesday as rebel fighters stormed the leader’s compound in Tripoli.

The top rebel commander was assassinated last month in a case that remains unsolved, but that has spurred furious accusations among various rebel factions. When an investigation of the killing bogged down, rebel council chief Mustafa Abdul Jalil dismissed his cabinet.

Concerns about the rebel leadership deepened on Tuesday after Gaddafi’s most influential son, Saif al-Islam Gaddafi, appeared in public despite rebel claims that he had been captured.

“The Transitional National Council is not without its problems,” said Geoff Porter, an analyst with North Africa Risk Consulting. “Its decision-making process is unpredictable and far from transparent. . . .This suggests that future dealings with the council are going to be prickly, challenging and uneven.”
That doesn't sound so hot. More at that top link.

Also at LAT, "Kadafi vows victory or 'martyrdom' in Libyan uprising," and NYT, "Qaddafi Defiant After Rebel Takeover." But see Chicago Tribune, "Rebels overrun Gaddafi HQ, say he's 'finished'."