Where next for Libya?
17 February 2011. After revolutionist movements in Tunisia and Egypt, Libya enters its movement starting a civil war that would either progress or destroy the country. 20 October 2011. Gaddafi killed as he tries to escape from Sirte sparking mass jubilation and celebration.
His death serves as a symbol to show that any remnants of the old regime are gone and do not belong in the modern world. With Gaddafi’s death, his supporters should diminish, left with nothing to fight for. Had he remained alive, it would have resulted in a sense of incompleteness. A part of the old regime would still remain. However the death of the dictator is nowhere near the end.
Whilst Gaddafi himself may be gone there are still small groups of his supporters scattered around. It will be important to integrate these people into the new society to avoid further tension and possible cause for future conflict. Power will need to be shifted away from guns and towards elected officials. In the formidable circumstances Libya has performed admirably in establishing a National Transitional Council (NTC).
However there will be concerns about the NTC following the execution of Gaddafi and one of his sons. In a country which wants to be founded on rights and justice, the decision to kill Gaddafi in the manner they did only brings them down to his level. The inability to carry out justice or to take a trial to show the world that Libya is moving forward will be a concern particularly in the west. It is quite likely that seeing his empire destroyed would be a far greater punishment than death to Gaddafi.
Despite the euphoria of freedom, the country is still in a strenuous position. The wreckage will need to be cleared and the economy will need to be addressed. The foreign labour and investment is unlikely to return for a few years. Currently, there is also significant economic uncertainty within the Libyan population. The instability is likely to inhibit growth.
Most of the work has only just begun. A new democratic government needs to be instated and the politicians need to gain the trust of the public. The NTC hopes to establish a government by 2012.
The uprising may have taken a mere 7 months to complete but the revolution will take years. It is important for Libya to leave the memories of Gaddafi behind and move forward into democracy as fluently as possible.
But since no-one knows how long it will take to address each of these major problems, one question remains: Where next for Libya?