The fight for Libya has been long and hard – and the struggle for its reconstruction is not likely to be any easier.
After four decades of the Gaddafi, infrastructure in the country is limited.
Analysts say there is a corresponding deficiency in Libyan civil society. It is nation-building, but with a difference, compared to places like Iraq and Afghanistan. Regime change in Libya has been an endogenous process, in that it was the people themselves who rose up against their government.
So it will be the Libyans themselves who will have ownership of the reconstruction of their country. But where do they start?
Euronews spoke to Dr. Hasni Abidi from the Geneva-based Study and Research Centre for the Arab and Mediterranean World about the challenges that lie ahead.
Aissa Boukanoun, euronews: “What kind of role do you think France and other countries who took part in the military campaign will have in Libya in the future?”
Dr. Hasni Abidi: “It is true that France and the UK have been leading the military operations against the Gaddafi regime, to help the rebels topple Gaddafi. But I think what is important for Libya is to develop a new system, new institutions to help run the country, because Libya has no institutions apart from those run by Gaddafi. The challenges for the future are difficult and I do not think the National Transitional Council will be able to handle them alone.”
euronews: “What do you think the strategy should be for disarming the rebels and pro-Gaddafi forces, so that weapons are only in the hands of official security forces?”
Dr. Hasni Abidi: “We all know there are Islamic groups among the rebels. Also, there are an enormous number of weapons spread across the country. They have either come from Gaddafi or other countries, or even cross-border smuggling. It is difficult to know how to gather those weapons”
euronews: “How do you see relations between Algeria and Libya, after members of the Gaddafi family went there?”
Dr. Hasni Abidi: “I don’t think that welcoming part of the Gaddafi family to Algeria for humanitarian reasons will end the relationship with Libya. There is a pragmatic and realistic wing within the National Transitional Council and it tends to build healthy relations with neighbouring countries, mainly Algeria.”
euronews: “Do you think Libya, which has been prevented from political pluralism since 1969, is ready for a democracy?”
Dr. Hasni Abidi: “There are big fears after information suggested some organisations took part in fighting in Afghanistan, such as the al-Jama’a Almoqatila in Libya, headed by Bilhaj, who is currently the chief of Tripoli’s military council. The fear is that those organisations may get involved in the political system. Therefore, the National Transitional Council is not ready and cannot rule, but it is a tool to help the transition into a political system.”