Libya’s new rulers are facing problems on and off the battlefield.
They are bogged down at Bani Walid with confused orders and dissent in the ranks delaying efforts to seize one of Muammar Gaddafi’s last bastions. A fresh attempt on Monday follows a chaotic retreat at the weekend.
On the political front too, efforts to form a more inclusive interim government have been unsuccessful. Interim Prime Minister Mahmoud Jibril’s proposals failed to receive full backing from all current members. He admitted that several positions still need to be filled.
This deadlock as well as the former rebels’ failure to take control of Bani Walid, Gaddafi’s hometown of Sirte and Sabha are serious setbacks.
The ousted leader’s spokesman meanwhile says that loyalists have captured 17 anti-Gaddafi ‘mercenaries’ some of them British and French. His claims, made on a Syrian-based TV channel, have not been verified. But if true, it would be a big blow to the former rebels and their international backers.