Qaddafi dead after sustaining wounds in airstrike

As I was watching Brooklyn News 12, waiting for the weather on the 2’s and sitting through some lame segment about running a coffee shop (no really, it was terrible journalism), at the bottom of the screen was “World News: Qaddafi dead near Sirte after NATO airstrike.” I was shocked! How is this not breaking? This is probably one of the biggest climaxes during the Arab Spring!

Reuters: Gaddafi killed as Libya’s revolt claims hometown

Guardian: Muammar Gaddafi is dead, NTC says

(This link features some cell phone pictures of him which I actually find quite distasteful…)

You can read the links that explain in detail how NTC officials found him and some bodyguards in an underground drain near Sirte, hiding out after his legs received wounds during a NATO airstrike. Afterwards, NTC flags were raised as a sign of victory over the new Libya.

In essence, the bad guy is gone, another one bites the dust, etc. etc., but as I have said in my previous post about NTC’s recognition by the UN, this is not the end for Libya’s chaotic state. The NTC still needs to establish a form of governance in the region, develop a system of political participation from the Libyan people and enact elections in the next couple of months. They do have a “roadmap” in place though to set guidelines for steps in the new government. The NTC cannot sustain as a long-standing representation of the country, and while time is necessary to create a democratic state, it doesn’t end here. I’m also not sure what NATO and the UN plan on doing in terms of “sticking around” but as long as there isn’t instability, there isn’t a need to police. Unlike other states that had “springs”, Libya was the first to experience death in the form of totalitarian finality.

While Qaddafi was irrelevant for some time now, this is a milestone for the country regardless. Time will tell whether or not the NTC can officiate their constitutional democratic state as promised, or if they will fall into a wormhole of promises and delays as the other states have. With support and recognition from foreign allies, the Libyan Republic can be realized.



National Transitional Council’s UN Recognition

Last week, the UN general assembly passed a motion to allow the National Transitional Council to sit in for Libya for the next year. The motion came with acceptance and resistance after the Credentials Committee chose the emerging governing body after the civil war broke out in February. A deferrence came from Angola, representing the Southern Africa Development Community (SADC), which questioned the transititonal authority in the region. The deferrence came with support from other African countries including Kenya, South Africa and Mali, and Latin American countries Cuba and Venezuela. The representative from Venezuela called the NTC “illegitimate”, and the representative from Cuba called NATO’s intervention “had been driven by self-interest and the economic concerns of powerful countries.” The vote of deferrence was 22 in favor, 107 against and 12 absentions.

In my opinion, the recognition of NTC is a temporary solution for the moment. The NTC identity is clearly trying to build up as a governing and self-sustained institution, but there is still so much uncertainity within the civil war. Qaddafi and his family are still at large and claiming power despite his crumbling appeareance and seriousness in reclaiming his position as an authoritarian leader of the People’s Republic. This recognition is a step in the right direction because there is now a voice within the UN realm on decisions and future resolutions concerning Libya. However, to me, it should be test-run for how they use this voice.



What is “Maghreb”?

Before I go into each country in the Maghreb region, I would like to talk about the region in North Africa known as the Maghreb.

Maghreb was the term denoted by Islamic conquerers to refer to the “west” of their conquests. The countries that comprise of the Maghreb are Morocco (including the disputed Western Sahara), Mauritania, Algeria, Tunisia and Libya. In the case of Francophone colonial rule, Libya and Mauritania are oftentimes excluded when referring to the region. In 1989, the Maghreb Union was formed, led by Muammar Qaddafi, but any cooperation since has been on frozen, mainly because of the Western Sahara dispute between Morocco and Algeria.

For the purposes of this blog, we will focus on the recent uprisings in the region, the “Arab Spring”, focusing on Algeria, Tunisia and Libya. In the upcoming posts, we will look at country histories, demographics, economies, culture and foreign relations. With this blog, we hope to shed light on a fascinating and rapid-changing area of the world.

References: plus my own knowledge 🙂