As the “victorious” rebels celebrate in the renamed Martyr’s Square in Tripoli, crisis continues to loom for the rebels, extending into the realm of famine and an urgent need for humanitarian actions.
Once again, the news from Libya claim victory but problems remain and the evident fact remains that Libya will remain in this chronic state of anarchy for quite some time. With Algeria harboring the Qaddafi family, what is there to say that Algeria will not become home to an underground “anti-resistance resistance” movement to rectify the “injustice” perpetrated on Colonel Qaddafi? Algeria may soon resemble Pakistan, a country that receives billions in US aid but was home to both Bin Laden and Atiyah Abd al-Rahman. With Qaddafi’s whereabouts unknown, a cult of personality remains to which the loyalists forces and tribes of Libya will defend and die for. Frighteningly, the resistance movement has shifted from the TNC unto the loyalist forces, who will launch guerrilla forces. Death will not frighten these forces, as it did not frighten the rebels throughout the “Arab Spring”, because of their belief in “Martyrdom” and it death being “Allah’s wish”.
“Everyone is Moammar Gadhafi. Wherever you see the enemy, attack them. They are weak, they have suffered lots of losses and they are now licking their wounds.” – Saif al-Islam Gadhafi, son of Moammar Qaddafi
Although the EU and UN have taken action, more so then condemning actions usually so popular from such political entities, the important factor in Libya’s future is the USA. The startgame for Libya will be decided by the US’ approach to the reconstruction of the Arab country. With 73% of Americans voting against any American assistance to the reconstruction of the political and financial infrastructure of Libya, it will be interesting to observe whether the US will heed the American will. What may be more interesting is the answer. If the US does response with assistance and involvement in Libya, the US government will clearly be at the back -and-call of oil companies, at the liberalization of Libya has led to an oil bonanza. If not, then the US government has finally understood its role as representing the will of the majority, representing the American people, a duty that they have so far demeaned.
So saying, despite subtle differences, the situation in Libya resembles that of the Horn of Africa and most specifically, Somalia. As repeated often throughout the contents of Year of 1989, the famine in Somalia is one of the worst in decades, leaving millions of Somali people starving and dying. The country was split by civil war in 1990 and has remained in a chronic state of anarchy due to its division in tribal areas, al-Shabbab territory, and a small portion designated to a corrupt and defunct government. Similarly, the nation of Libya has been divided by civil war, is victim to a power vacuum, the loyalist forces have turned into a terrorist group, and a humanitarian crisis looms.
Tripoli’s two million residents face increasingly dire shortages of food and water. With the TNC planning for the future, the question arises about the future involvement. The EU and UN have long been involved in the push for liberalism and it would make sense they would maintain a strong presence due to the sensitivity of the immediate future. The future government can easily shift towards a secular government, non-secular, anti-West, or pro-West. Nevertheless, the response to the humanitarian crisis is a clear illustration of the international community’s determination to protect the liberty they have so long sponsored.
With 60% of Tripoli without water or sanitation, the EU and the UN have procured five million liters of water to ship to Tripoli. The United Nations’ World Food Programme has begun to send 600 tons of food commodities for the Red Cross to distribute. So aid has begun to enter the nation, similar to the long awaited aid in Somalia. But as in Somalia, will it be enough? Will the loyalist forces be able to restrict access of these humanitarian entities as the al-Shabbab did? In regards to the loyalist forces, it is very doubtful due to the endless pressure that is physically being shot at them.
The death toll of Libya’s exploits also serve as a somber note of the price at which Qaddafi’s semi-fall has taken, as well as the future tolls that may accumulate. TNC head Mustafa Abdul Jalil has told reports that rebels were in negotiations with the loyalists and hoped to avoid more bloodshed. The concerns seem justified as reports have estimated the death toll of the Libyan rebellion as high as 50,000.
“We are also deeply concerned about reports that there are still thousands of people unaccounted for who were arrested or taken by Gadhafi’s security forces either earlier in the conflict or before it even started.” – Rupert Colville,spokesmen for the UN High Commisioner for Human Rights.
Al-Shabbab and its human rights violations are just one of the countless gangs, killing squads and terrorist organizations in the world, but for the purpose of the running comparison between the two nations, al-Shabbab and the Libyan situation resemble one another.The Khamis Brigade,previously led by Khamis Qaddafi,has been accused of executing detainees a week ago in a warehouse near Tripoli. Combined with the hundreds of other rights violations that have been committed and continue to be, the loyalist forces have turned into a rugged terrorist organization sworn to a cult of personality that is crumbling.
In retrospect,victory still eludes the rebels as loyalist forces are still in control of Bani Walid in the north, Sabha in the south and Qaddafi’s hometown of Sirte (though this has come under fire).