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Culture & Religion

Libyan Rebels Claim Tripoli

The head of Libya’s National Transitional Council (N.T.C.) has announced the end of the Gaddafi era, while sporadic fighting continued across the capital, Tripoli.

What’s the Latest Development?

After entering the Libyan capital of Tripoli without much resistance, rebel forces have declared victory over what remains of Muammar Gaddafi’s loyalists. “Clashes erupted on Monday after tanks left Bab Azaziya, Gaddafi’s compound in Tripoli, to confront the rebel assault.” Two of Gaddafi’s sons have been arrested and one, Saif al-Islam, is likely to face charges of crimes against humanity before the International Criminal Court. There has been no word on the location of Gaddafi himself. The Libyan leader has vowed not to surrender.

What’s the Big Idea?

Big challenges are in store for Libya’s fledgling rebel leaders. Decades of dictatorial rule have left government institutions gutted and, while many western governments have recognized the rebels as Libya’s rightful government, no established political body is ready assert leadership. In the wake of wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, the west is expected to rely on African institutions to oversee any transitional government. And though helpful to the rebel cause, N.A.T.O. is likely to continue its policy of limited engagement. 


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