Sunday, 13 November 2011

Can the Libyan National Council Control it's Militia's?

Rival militias are fighting on the outskirts of Libya to gain control of one of Gaddafi's largest military camps.  The camp once commanded by Kharmis, one of Gaddafi's sons, is located on a highway midway between Tripoli and Zawiya.

The clashes, which have lasted at least four days, put into doubt the ability of the Libyan National Council's ability to disarm rebel forces.  At least six people have been killed since the fighting between the two rival communities started.

Heavy gunfire and explosions of rocket-propelled grenades were heard over hours Sunday in the area between the Warshefana lands, about 30 kilometres west of Tripoli, and Zawiya, another 15 kilometres to the west. White smoke rose into the air.
At one point, the two sides were battling for control of a major military camp of the ousted regime, said a fighter from Tripoli. The camp, once a base of elite forces commanded by one of Gadhafi's sons, Khamis, is located on a highway midway between Tripoli and Zawiya.
Two men from Warshefana were killed by friendly fire Sunday, another fighter said. This brought the overall death toll to at least six since the dispute between the communities erupted.  Source CTV Edmonton

The fighting should not come as a major surprise to Libya observers.  Although NATO and the NTC have cautioned for militias not to take out revenge, the fighting among rival tribes was predictable.  In a war, where NATO took sides and supported the rebels in order to achieve regime change, although the UN resolution was hailed as the authority to protect lives, it is no surprise that a power struggle over control would now erupt.

NATO has also been accused of war crimes and the UN International Criminal Court has said that it would investigate all allegations.  While NATO is not a signatory, the UN could hold individual NATO countries accountable for any wrong doing.  There is also the question of how Gaddafi died.  US missiles and French striker aircraft engaged a convoy in the desert.  Gaddafi traveled with that convoy.   What happened after the brutal leader was captured alive, is what is being questioned.

NATO air strikes continued for almost six months, after an initial engagement of military targets, including air defence missile sites, with Tomahawk missiles.  While no ground troops were used, it would appear that no particular provisions were made to care for the country after the Gaddafi regime was defeated. 

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