About Tripoli in Libya, not Lebanon


As expected, Libya remains an issue on the international scene. The current protagonists are: the militia of Zintan which is the pro-government nationalist militia, and the militia of Misrata which is described as an Islamist group.

As far as I am concerned the Islamist militia of Zintan is not necessarily concerned with Al Qaeda. During the Libyan civil war I saw no evidence to connect this particular group to Al Qaeda but that is certainly not the case with groups that originated in Benghazi.  One has to look at the construction of the name of the group to get an idea of where they stand on various issues. I maintain that just because a group is seen as being Islamist does not mean that they totally follow the extremism of ISIS, ISIL, Al Qaeda etc. etc. I believe that actions speak louder than words.

On this score I want to point out that during the “first Libyan Civil War”, the militia from Misrata was made up of men who had been teachers and other professionals, who took up arms in a common cause. Some men in Misrate have been known for their more “traditional views”. For example, when one father had discovered that his daughters had been raped, he slit their throats because of the family dishonour. This action was condemned by others in Misrata including at least one imam who was then attempting to dissuade others from taking a similar action.

I do not see any value in making outlandish claims that somehow this Islamist group is associated with the current White House Administration. Yes, during that civil war arms were supplied but those arms came from other countries, such as from France, and they were sent to the people of Misrata via boat (sent from Benghazi to Misrata) at the request of Qatar. Now it could be that the arms supplied by Qatar to Misrata were purchased from the USA, so again anything is possible. What I do think is that this particular militia are nationalist in the same way that the group from Zintan is nationalist. The difference seems to be that of loyalty to the present government.

The militia from Zintan seems to favour the government. They are trusted by the government. This group is also responsible for guarding  a member of the Gaddafi family. They have not done him any harm. On the other hand the militia from Misrata was blamed for the death of Gaddafi and his son. I will add here I am not surprised that they took care of Gaddafi in that manner, especially as a result of the conditions of that civil war were bad enough to have caused many to have an extra big grudge against that man!! The militia from Zintan have been true to their word where government is concerned.

So, why is there a conflict in and around Tripoli? It has a lot to do with people jockeying to impose their ideal on the rest of the nation where government is concerned. The new government does not have the dominance of the Islamists. There is no point being upset about the make up of the new government if the people refused to vote!!  What the People from Misrata want is to impose Islamist rule upon all others. The others seem to want a more western style of government. What was thrown out when Gaddafi and his family were thrown out was in fact a Marxist government.

It is necessary to watch the situation in Tripoli in ordder to find out what is happening in Libya. The country remains unstable, yet, with changes at the top and in government, this particular country seems to be heading in the direction of democracy but we have to wait and see.

The Islamists of Misrata want to impose their brand of Islamization, but we shall have to wait and see if they end up winning.

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4 responses to “About Tripoli in Libya, not Lebanon

  1. I am not sure what is in Libya should be considered a government. Right now it is just little fiefdoms are fighting for control. Will a government emerge? Perhaps, but right now it is just as likely that the country could be split in 2, with Behghazi and the east and Tripoli in West.

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    • I agree up to a point on your comment. They do have an elected government. It resides in Tobruk because the other cities are too dangerous. However, as you say Libya is populated by fiefdoms.

      Libya needs a strong figure such as their previous king to unite all groups.

      I think that what is happening now was always predictable, and it took a little longer than expected. I am of the opinion that Libya will have another civil war with everyone else ganging up on the Islamists.

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  2. Yes, there is an elected government but they will be the first one to tell you that they do not controlled the Benghazi area for example.

    After the death of Gaddafi they concentrated on killing all of his allies and foreigners which were the one keeping the Islamist in check, Now, though the government has maintained tenous control of the oilfields in the eastern part of Libya, they can’t protect the rest of the country.

    I think a state of civil war already exists, as a consequence the government is lucky that factions are too fractitious amonst themselves allowing for the appearance of a country to continue.

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    • Bori, I agree that a state of civil war exists. It has been slow in escalating but I think it is about to take off in a big way.

      The big boy Islamists have been busy with IS. The Misrata Islamists do not seem to be of the same mold as the big boys… but they are still dangerous. One report I just read indicates that there are several groups. They did not like the Zintan militia because it has stayed loyal to the elected government.

      I have tried to continue to monitor Libya because the conclusion had not been satisfactory. The current government is like a chook with its head cut off, running around in circles and getting nowhere. The danger has always been the militia from Misrata. Each time there was an incident in the Parliament in Tripoli it was the men from Misrata who had turned up and it was the men from Misrata who insisted that certain people be sacked. When they turned up they were heavily armed. Time and again the “parliament” gave in to the demands of this group.

      On the other side of the coin, I see no proof that these men were in any way responsible for what took place in Benghazi. Their Islamism seems to be purely Libya-centric at the present time.

      The February 17 brigade have gone very quiet but the other main group Ansar- al- Shariah remain the biggest threat in Libya at the present time.

      I need to see more reports, especially unbiased reports (and that is hard to find) that will give a better outline on the situation. I need to know more about what these men from Misrata want. In other words, it is simply that they want to ensure that Libya remains an Islamic State, which it was before Gaddafi seized power? I am not sure if they are totally anti-west because I do not know what is motivating them.

      This is why I agree that in the long term Libya will be split unless a new leader emerges. The ones that could have led the country were removed by the men from Misrata.

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