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British experts highlight likely tensions in new Libyan authorities   2011-08-23 10:09:00

Experts in London Tuesday said the fall of Tripoli to Libyan rebels and the likely end of the 42-year-old rule of Colonel Muammar Gaddafi would place an urgent need for stability on the possible future rulers of the North African country.

Brigadier Ben Barry, Senior Fellow for Land Forces at the International Institute for Strategic Studies in London, told Xinhua, "Above all, the National Transitional Council (NTC) and its international supporters now want to avoid many of the failures made by coalition forces in Iraq in 2003."

So the council has not only developed a plan for transition to a new Libya, it has also been talking to Gaddafi followers in Tripoli and hopes to enlist their active support in avoiding both a security vacuum and a blood bath of retribution. There are similar plans to sustain basic services, including food and water, and to safeguard Libya's economic infrastructure, Barry added.

"Of course, these plans may be contested, by regime forces holding out or from factions within Libya, including the various regions and tribes. After the killing of former rebel military leader Abdul Fatah Younis, it is also clear there is the chance of factionalism within the NTC, and the true level of potentially disruptive Islamist fighters in rebel ranks is unclear," He said.

Barry said "All the NTC's supporters agree that the short term stabilization of the country -- and the political process to agree a new constitution and conduct elections -- should be led by Libyans."

He said that those countries that bombed the regime will probably seek to avoid military involvement on the ground. But Libyans will be expecting the United Nations, the World Bank and the EU to back reconstruction and nation building.

Barry said that current international military plans "appear limited to the UN possibly deploying ceasefire monitors and NATO maintaining an ability to intervene under resolution 1973 if the situation deteriorates."

He believed that if the NTC succeeds in maintaining security, further international military intervention should not be required.

Barak Seener, of the Royal United Services Institute, said he believed that the likely future rulers of Libya faced immediate problems with conflicting ideologies within the anti-Gaddafi forces.

"There is a tension within the NTC between liberals with a Western orientation and Islamists. Furthermore, rebels in the West of Libya have an Islamist bent. There is also a growing chasm between the NTC who are considered a bunch of bureaucrats by rebels who assert that they did the hard fighting," he said.

Barry said that the rebels from the west of Libya had been effective in fighting the Gaddafi regime and that NATO attacks had weakened Gaddafi's forces. There were also "indications" that foreign military from Muslim countries had also helped the rebels in ground fighting.


source : Xinhua     editor:: Ma Ting
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