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An article by Alexander Vatutin
Libya on the verge of chaos and civil war - experts

Warnings from many experts are coming true: Libya is being pulled into a civil war. Now anti-Gaddafists are carving up power and Libya’s capital of Tripoli is already seeing clashes as the rebels are fighting for the local airport.

13 December 2011

Tripoli, Libya. (Photo: EPA)

Libya that was united by one goal - to topple Gaddafi, is now on the verge of chaos. Late Saturday, the so-called Libya’s national guards attempted to seize control over the Tripoli airport and attacked their former allies from the city of Zintan. Their attempt failed but left some people killed and injured. The national guards pledged to try again and were calmed down only by the tribal elders.

At the same time, militants attempted to murder Libya’s Chief Commander Khalifa Haftar.

Right after Libya’s National Transitional Council announced the country’s liberation on October 23, Gaddafi’s supporters carried out several attacks. But the opposition hasn’t clashed with one another till recently. Experts say that they’re fighting for the helm. The rebels’ common enemy, Gaddafi, is dead and thus they have a new pretext to start showing who is stronger and who’ll get access to the country’s oil riches.

The current situation is the moment of truth for those who pledged to get rid of the legacy of Gaddafi’s 40-yeard old reign. However, he somehow managed to hold the multi-tribal country and even simulate some kind of statehood. The rebels brought no new ideology, they’re simply carving up the power pie says expert in Oriental Studies Andrei Volodin:

"They’re divided into various factions that have no idea what unity and territorial integrity is. No foreign country would interfere into the conflict at this stage as the West is too weak. Moreover, this conflict was triggered by the West. Thus, if Libya falls apart, the US, France, the UK and other intruders will be responsible."

Experts are also skeptical about the NTC powers as it’s quite heterogeneous, comprising both liberals and radical Islamists who pursue their own aims, says Oriental researcher Sergei Demidenko:

"Libya is loose as a state and it will continue to get deeper into economic and political chaos. No democratic elections or Constitution would help as Libya’s society is split and hardly unifiable. As for the tribes, they are entering a new level of hostility and sometimes break all their laws and codes."

Now experts are mostly negative about Libya’s future and believe that it could break up into parts.

Alexander Vatutin
Moscow Time, December 12, 2011.