Middle East

Libya, 11 years after the rebellion, far from democracy

Tripoli: Libyan people have celebrated 11 years since the rebellion that defeated dictator Mu’ammar Al-Kadafi yesterday, but the democracy that many wanted remains elusive, and many return to conflict. I’m afraid. The anniversary begins when a country that has been plagued by the east-west division meets two rival prime ministers based in the capital, Tripoli.

Just weeks after the indefinite postponement of the national elections scheduled for December 24, the Eastern Parliament resolved to appoint an influential former Interior Minister, Fathi Bashagha, to replace the interim unified government. Incumbent Prime Minister Abdulhamid Doveiba, appointed as part of a UN-led peace process, argued that power would be delegated only to elected governments.

The resulting confrontation raised fear of another conflict within Tripoli itself, not between East and West. As the anniversary approached, the streets of the capital were lined with red, black, and green flags that were adopted after the overthrow of Gaddafi. Concerts and fireworks are scheduled for Friday at Martyrs’ Square in Tripoli. Here, Kadafi gave the once famous desperate speech before the “February 17th Revolution” took him out of power.

Yesterday, Doveiba attended a military recruitment ceremony at a base on the edge of the capital. In his speech, Army staff Mohamed al-Haddad vowed that the Libyans “will never forget the February Revolutionary martyr who sacrificed their lives for a democratic nation.” The political gap following the NATO-backed uprising, boosted by regional and tribal conflicts and the involvement of external groups, has led to fierce power struggles.

And despite the country’s vast oil wealth, Africa’s largest proved reserves, many Libyans live in poverty. “The situation got worse,” said 26-year-old Ihad Doghman. A civil servant by day and a grocery store by night, he, like his many compatriots, holds down two jobs as “the only way it can get through.” Since the expulsion of Gaddafi, Libya has had nine governments and two full-scale civil wars, but the presidential election has not yet been organized. Following the latest legislative move, Misrata’s pro-Bashaga armed groups (both him and Daveiba’s hometown) have shown their strength to rally in Tripoli.

Tensions have been relatively peaceful for many years, as the groundbreaking ceasefire in October 2020 officially ended the catastrophic bid for Eastern Army Prime Minister Khalifa Haftar to occupy the capital for a year. May threaten. This paved the way for a UN-led peace effort, a year ago this month, when Doveiba was appointed head of a new unified government with the authority to lead the country to the December 24 elections.

However, the legal basis for polls and the fierce debate over the existence of split candidates, including Daveiba and Bashaga, have postponed them indefinitely. UNSMIL, the country’s UN mission, urged Libyan people to “keep the country stable and calm” on Thursday. In his statement, he vowed to continue his efforts towards “a comprehensive and consensus-based political process leading to free and transparent national elections as soon as possible.”

Despite the failure, Libyan expert Jalle Harchaoui said the country has made progress in many ways. “Libya hasn’t seen a major fire exchange since June 2020,” he said. “Among the elite, many deadly enemies two years ago are talking to each other and, in some cases, forming an alliance, which marks the beginning of a reconciliation.”

In December, a few days before the election, Bashaga headed to Benghazi to meet another controversial presidential candidate, Haftar. Since then, Haftar’s army has helped Bashaga become prime minister. And now that he has the support of the Tripoli-based Supreme Council, an organization that often opposes the eastern-based parliament, Bashaga needs to form a government until February 24th. Given the recent history of the country’s turmoil, the next question is whether Daveba will go peacefully. – AFP

https://www.kuwaittimes.com/11-years-since-revolt-libya-far-from-democracy/ Libya, 11 years after the rebellion, far from democracy

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