Posted by: mulrickillion | January 9, 2012

ANALYSIS: Libya Sliding To Civil War?

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By Charles Recknagel, Geopolitical Montior, Jan 6, 2012 —

IFE/RL, Jan 6, 2012

It’s been more than two months since antiregime fighters captured and killed former Libyan dictator Muammar Qaddafi.

But the National Transitional Council (NTC) that now rules Libya has yet to be able to consolidate its hold over the fractious militias that toppled the old regime.

Just how restive conditions in Libya remain was highlighted this week when members of two militias fought over territory in Tripoli.

The clash on January 3 reportedly left two dead as the gunmen battled using machine guns, rocket-propelled grenades, and antiaircraft guns in the heart of the capital.

The clash shocked the city’s residents and signaled how far Libya still has to go to become peaceful again.

"This happened after the revolution but not before," a relative of one of the men killed in the fighting said. "They said there will be a government and order. Twenty-three fighters came to claim territory and to kill young boys. They killed young boys for territory."

But if ordinary residents of the city were worried by the clash, the government seemed even more so.

The head of the NTC, Mustafa Abdel Jalil, warned that if the country’s many militias did not hand in their weapons and either join the country’s fledgling security services or return home, the country faced the danger of civil war.

He said the government was now between "bitter" options. "We deal with these violations strictly and put the Libyans in a military confrontation which we don’t accept," he said, "or we split and there will be a civil war."

A Divided Tripoli

Correspondents report that Tripoli today is a patchwork of fiefdoms held by rival militias that arrived in the capital months ago to chase out Qaddafi and have since refused to leave.

Each of the militias appears to believe that its power to influence the future course of Libyan politics depends on maintaining an armed presence in Tripoli. . . .

ANALYSIS: Libya Sliding To Civil War? – Geopolitical Monitor

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