Libya teeters on edge of civil war
The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navanethem Pillay and the UN Libya envoy Ian Martin have expressed concern over the situation in Libya where they say the new authorities have failed to assert full authority and instill order.
The recent clashes between pro-Gaddafi supporters and NTC forces were provoked by both parties, Ian Martin said. Until recently, the interim authorities managed to handle these kinds of incidents fairly well but they might happen again in the future, the UN human rights commissioner said.
On Monday armed units of pro-Gaddafi supporters seized Bani Walid where the elders had passed a no-confidence motion against the central government. Sweeping violence also gripped Benghazi and Tripoli. Bani Walid returned under the control of the Libyan government by Wednesday.
The attacks by pro-Gaddafi forces are taking place amid the acute crisis that has hit the NTC and Libya as a whole. Alexei Podtserob of the Institute of Oriental Studies, comments.
"There have been clashes between Arabs and Berbers and between other tribes on ethnic grounds. It’s also important that the so-called fighters for freedom and democracy came to power in Libya with the help of NATO, Qatar, the United Arab Emirates, Britain and France which supplied planes or special task forces. For Libyans, the National Transitional Council is not legitimate."
The revolutionaries are disgruntled at the absence of transparency in the government’s work, its failure to pay compensations promised and the presence of former Gaddafi functionaries in the current leadership. For this reason, many experts believe that the NTC is incapable of taking the situation under control. Andrei Volodin of the Center for Oriental Research at the Russian Foreign Ministry, has this to say.
"There has been no revolution in Libya. The western media have made it all up. From the very outset, it was clear that whoever would come to power after Gaddafi would be unable to rule the country or maintain its territorial integrity. Many Arabic scholars foresaw a split and it came sooner than expected. The reality is that Libya has entered a civil war."
The so-called Arab Spring revolutions naturally spill into full-scale civil wars, Yevgeny Satanovsky of the Institute of the Middle East says. Given this, the new regimes are unlikely to see stability in the near future. According to Satanovsky, the current turmoil in Libya has the potential to wreak havoc across North Africa, and the unrest in Yemen may plunge the whole of the Arabian Peninsula into chaos.