08/22/2011, 00.00
LIBYA

Del Boca: “Gaddafi wants to become a martyr and will resist till the end”, others fear total war

by Simone Cantarini
Thousands of people loyal to Gaddafi could lose everything with his defeat. The sudden fall of Tripoli was due to growing weariness by the Libyan leader and the population. The country could fall in the hands of unscrupulous characters.
Rome (AsiaNews) – “Gaddafi is still alive and will certainly not flee. He wants to become a martyr and will resist until the end,” said Angelo Del Boca, an Italian journalist and historian who is an expert on Libya. Speaking to AsiaNews, he explained that a total war between Gaddafi loyalists and rebels might break out. Many towns and cities around the Gulf of Sirte and other parts of the country in fact remain in loyalist hands. Thousands of people are still pro-Gaddafi and could lose everything with his fall.

Months of air strikes took their toll on government forces around the capital, despite Gaddafi’s calls for resistance till death. For the historian, “a gap in the city’s defences allowed the rebels to enter Tripoli.”

Yesterday night, Libyan government spokesman Ibrahim Moussa warned of a possible “blood bath” if the National Transitional Council (NTC) goes after Gaddafi supporters.

Gaddafi’s fortified compound is still under siege, but there is no news about the Libyan leader whereabouts. Media reports indicate that rebels have met with little resistance. Their sudden appearance in the city broke a long deadlock.

The Italian scholar is particularly concerned about post-Gaddafi’s developments. Libya, in his view, might fall in the hands of unscrupulous characters, former regime members or people tied to Islamic extremism.

Following the announcement of Tripoli’s fall, the NTC told its NATO allies that oil production would be quickly resumed.

“It is hard to know when this war will end,” Del Boca said. “What is certain is that oil was the goal of NATO countries, especially France, and not only the defence of civilians. For sure, Italy will lose much of its expensive investments.”

However, for the historian, some hope comes from various exiled Libyan dissidents and intellectuals, who want real change.

Anwar Fekini, one of Gaddafi’s long-term opponents, is an internationally recognised lawyer who fled to the United States. He supported the resistance from the mountains to the south of Tripoli.

According to the dissident, once fighting is over, preparations for the elections will get underway, insisting that they should be free and without foreign interference.
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