It has been 8 arduous months since the revolutionary uprising by the anti –government rebels against Col. Muammar -el Qaddafi and while he has been deposed two months ago, Libya is still walking a tight rope as support for the ousted dictator still exists and poses a threat to the Transitional National Council which has taken temporary control of the Libyan government. After a month of much needed peace in the volatile country, fighting broke out on Friday between the rebel fighters and armed men which raised cries of support for Col. Muammar –el Qaddafi. Though there were no reports of casualties, this incident will no doubt be a worrying sign for the provisional government and draw more focus to the last of Qaddafi’s strongholds in Libya – The coastal city of Surt and the desert enclave of Bani Walid. The hundred’s of fighters that occupy this area are a “resilient and fierce” threat as said by The commander of NATO’s air campaign, Lt. Gen. Ralph J. Jodice II.
Though it is difficult to predict how well the eventual interim government of Libya will handle the running of the country, a lot of concerns are being voiced about the Islamist nature of the current leadership and how it will play out in the eventual handling of the country. The most influential politician in the country is arguably Ali Sallabi and though he has no official title he is revered by the masses as an Islamic scholar and populist orator.
The most powerful military leader is Abdel Hakim Belhaj, an ex-leader of a group believed to have close ties with Al Qaeda.
However the people of Libya are not worried and have reinforced their support for a democratic system which they believe the interim government will adapt to the best of its abilities. Therefore, it is not surprising that an anti-Islamist, anti-Sallabi rally in Martyrs’ Square on drew only a few dozen demonstrators. Jeffrey D. Feltman, assistant secretary of state for Near Eastern affairs also believes that the government will adopt a moderate path in the future. “Based on our discussions with Libyans so far,” he said, “we aren’t concerned that one group is going to be able to dominate the aftermath of what has been a shared struggle by the Libyan people.”
Presently though, Libya is still covered by a shroud of uncertainty but the future does seem bright politically for the country that’s been marred by killings and bloodshed since the turn of the year.
Muhammad Ahmad Altaf