Colonel Muammar Gaddafi was killed, Libyans celebrated, but the aftermath turmoil is far from over as the West has now become the striking target.
From the killing of American ambassador Chris Stevens and other diplomats last September in Benghazi to this week suicide bomb outside the French embassy in Tripoli, the threat seems to be ever high as about 200 heavily armed gangs have taken Libya’s interior ministry hostage demanding for law to ban the recruitment of Gaddafi’s officials. It is not the first time groups have tried to force the government to take action against Gaddafi’s officials.
Since the fall of Gaddafi’s regime in August 2011, the transition government in place has been unable to reinstate stability across the country now divided along ethnics as well as political allegiance. Most of the fractional groups that backed the rebels that ousted Gaddafi have fervently refused to disarm and insecurity has continued to be a major issue in Libya.
Libyans celebrated the end of Gaddafi hard-nosed rule, with the hope that the future was going to be bright with freedom and democracy to prevail at last. However, they might have got it all wrong as the country was rather plunged into mayhem with arms just in anyone hands and the hope of a New Libya dashed away. Typical of Iraq after Saddam Hussein, Libyans instead of putting the past behind and to work towards reconciliation and reconstruction, it has been one camp fighting the others or accusing the others creating more atrocities than peaceful initiatives for unity and progress for all.
The West carries the blame
When the uprising in Libya started from Benghazi, Gaddafi responded with brunt act of atrocities against his own people, calling the rebels evils and mad people. It was only thanks to NATO’s airstrikes that the rebels made a laborious advancement to Tripoli. Although no major clashes took place in Tripoli, attention was shifted towards the capture of Gaddafi. Unfortunately the rebels killed him as he was trying to escape after the NATO air forces stroke his convoys at Sirte. The death of defiant Gaddafi who refused to leave his country signal the end of a six-month uprising inspired by the Arab Spring revolution in next-door Tunisia.
After Gaddafi was toppled, instead of the West taking time to help the transition government to rebuild Libya with a vision of making it a better place as compared to the past, their interest seemed to have been pegged on oil flowing again in Libya, which is one of the world’s top producers of crude oil. Oil became the interest of the West and not the future of Libyans who have suffered for too long, even though they have plenty of oil beneath their grounds. The rebels have refused to disarm and join a New Libyan Army, and are obviously demanding for their own quota from the amassed fortune of Gaddafi. The makeup of these rebel groups had not been anyone’s concern during the rebellion, but with Libya’s dependence on a large immigrant forces from its Arab neighbours some of rebels most have been foreign fighters and now want their bills settled.
What about Gaddafi’s money
It is hard to say what the motifs behind these attacks of Western embassies and personnel are, but it is explicit to say that the West has to do something to reconstruct Libya after Gaddafi’s 41 years of tyranny. Western governments should not lose sight of the mounting problems of ordinary Libyans as they worry about the safety of their citizens working in the oil and construction industries or the judgement of Gaddafi’s family members or accomplices and also how much of Libyan oil they can get. Libyans are surely interested to know what has happened to all the businesses of Gaddafi across the world and money in foreign banks.
They also believe that it is only by the intervention of the West can all these amassed wealth and billions of Libyan dinar or hard currencies in Swiss Banks could be reinvested into Libya. Unless these pleas are taken care of, some deviant group would try to express their anger in attacks.
If the West can help the rebels and Libyans to get rid of Gaddafi, Libyans also believe they can help to make Libya a better place and not abandon it vulnerable for another dictator to step up and seize power. With Europe, especially Italy just at the nose of Libya, it shall not be a surprise if the arm groups start to orchestrate attacks across the Mediterranean Sea.