Tuesday, 12 July 2011

Libya remains in a vicious spiral of confrontation

Libya remains caught in a vicious spiral of military and political confrontation which is defying resolution by the peace-makers. The most favoured candidates to settle the matter, when the two sides are ready to be brought together, are the Arab League and the AU. So far, the League has been muted. Its secretary general, Amr Moussa, who supported the UN Resolution 1973 for intervention in Libya, made a public stance against the continuance of the war in late June. He called for immediate talks to bring about a ceasefire, and suggested that a political solution was bound to be needed in the end.

Given that he is a strong potential Libyan presidential candidate his views have to be taken seriously. South Africa finds itself equally uncertain of a way forward but, like Moussa, takes the view that Colonel Mu'ammar Qadhafi should not necessarily be driven into exile. They are not enthusiastic about the Leader holding onto power, especially if it continues to obstruct an early political settlement.

The comparative ineffectiveness of the two armies in the last two months would lead to a conclusion that stalemate now prevails. The situation is, however, more complex than this because the revolutionary national army has become increasingly well-equipped following France's air lifting of new weapons for the Berber community which is resisting the drive from Zintan by Qadhafi's forces.

One of the rebels' basic problems is the capture of new territory at a high price of human life which would spell recurrent problems in the future and help to recruit groups in Tripolitania to Qadhafi's side. Whether the older heads in the TNC can keep control of the formations of young volunteer soldiers fighting at the fronts is unlikely. The latter on the battle fronts would not accept that Colonel Qadhafi, his family or henchmen remains in Libya. This single objective gives a unity to the insurrection against the Qadhafi clan which will not to be given up lightly.

For more news and expert analysis about Libya, please see Libya Focus and Libya Politics & Security.

© 2011 Menas Associates

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