Tripoli (AsiaNews) - The future of Libya is in jeopardy
because of insecurity, divisions, in-fighting and armed clashes between rebels
and pro-Gaddafi loyalists. Against this background, Libyans are set to go to
the polls on Saturday to elect a 200-member constituent assembly tasked with
drafting the country's first democratic constitution since the fall of the old
regime. However, sources tell AsiaNews
that the country is in full civil war and blame NATO for clashes and violence
among rival factions.
"In various parts of Libya fighting continues despite
media silence," the sources said. In fact, NATO never left the country. "Three
weeks ago, NATO planes carried out air strikes in two feuding cities, Zintan
and Mashasha," the sources noted. The former was a rebel stronghold during the
anti-Gaddafi war and was supported by NATO. The latter is home to nomadic
people, originally from Niger, and was built by Gaddafi to settle permanently
desert communities. Its residents backed the Libyan strongman when he attacked
"After the fall of the dictator, Zintan began revenge
attacks against Mashasha, which responded by shelling its nemesis," sources
said. "In order to end the violence, NATO hit both cities, killing a number of
people. The alliance said that it bombed its ally, Zintan, by mistake. All the
while, media stood silent."
NATO interference in factional divisions, the large number
of weapons and the total lack of leadership in the country are increasing the
chances of a new civil war as factions vie for power ahead of 7 July elections.
"In a country where Gaddafi concentrated power for more than 40 years, his fall
has opened the floodgates. Now it is a free-for-all grab for power and support
in an atmosphere of insecurity and anarchy."
In Benghazi, more than 300 people stormed an election
office, burning ballots and other election material in order to demand more
"The National Transition Council is not in control of
the country," the sources noted. "Each city wants autonomy to control its own
resources and deal with multinationals. Such is the outcome of a costly
humanitarian war carried out with the blessing of the United Nations."
The main sign of hope is the defeat of the Islamist
front, main advocate of the war against Gaddafi. At present, Libyans are trying to marginalise it.
"In recent months, Muslim extremists have tried
everything to gain power and earn support, presenting themselves as an
alternative to the regime, especially in view of the results in Tunisia's and
Egypt's elections." However, they have been thwarted by a desire of the Libyan
people for change and modernity. After supporting them in the early stages of
the war, Libyans are now aware of their backward anti-modern views and have
started fighting them. They are tired of
being used and want real change in the country." (S.C.)