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FACTDROP: Libya: 'Turmoil in Tripoli'


Libya: 'Turmoil in Tripoli'

In a recent post BBC's Rana Jawad  reported from Tripoli that classes between rebels and pro-Gaddafi residents had ended. It was the first serious confrontation in Tripoli since the NTC's army took over the city back in August. Caroline Hawley reported that the green flag was raised in other towns as well.

It is quite evident that Gaddafi who managed to withstand for six months the combined attack of the rebels and NATO air forces enjoyed some considerable support from the Libyans. The unknown Libyan soldiers that still fighting till death in Sirte and Bani Walid are obviously something much more than the well paid mercenaries. The raising of the green flag in Tripoli was the starting point of the shooting according to Assem al-Bashir, a fighter with Tripoli's Eagle Brigade. Abu-Salim is a pro-Gaddafi neighbor and there are plenty of arms around. A lot of residents are suspected to be posing as people who were opposed to Col Gaddafi's regime according to Jawat: "That was always a concern for locals in Abu Salim who looked at it as a pro-Gaddafi neighbourhood that really needed to be cleaned out". It seems that cleansing now is on the other side.

Gaddafi had released an audio recording a month ago calling people to "Go peacefully ... be courageous, rise up, go to the streets, raise our green flags to the skies." According to Reuters fighting had also broken out in the nearby Hadhba neighbourhood.

On May in Tripoli thousands rushed into the Green Square to show their support to the "leader". Even that BBC made a very keen effort to discredit the event, it is evident that GAD had real supporters. As it is said it would be impossible to govern his country so many years only by using terror, injustice and violence.

When the guns stop the shooting in a civil war that doesn't mean its over. It keeps going inside the minds and hurts of people that suffered from the other side and lost their beloved during the merciless combats. Having said that, it is worth noting that the International community stands inactive in front of this "last phase" wanting to legitimize the NTC as the sole leading force in Libya. Negotiations unluckily require boots on the ground if both sides are still alive. But this beyond the costs would paint the situation like an occupation. I guess some special forces training camp soon will be established to produce local police experts in guerrilla wars.

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