Don’t rush to celebrate the post-Gaddafi era: Xinhua


Beijing : Though Gaddafi’s fate remains unknown, his era has “undoubtedly come to an end”. However, Libyans should remain cautious about the country’s future as there were tremendous difficulties ahead, China’s state-run Xinhua news agency said in a commentary.

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The Libyan rebels and NATO – “having chosen the most violent means to effect change” – have put an end to the 41-year rule of Muammar Gaddafi after fully taking control of the capital, Tripoli, it said.

However, the price the Libyan people have paid for the “liberation” was enormous.

The six-month-long civil war has completely paralysed the economy, ruined its lifeline oil industry, split the country between its West and East, unleashed tribal forces and left a heavy toll of casualties, Xinhua said.

“Despite Gaddafi’s fate remaining unknown, his era has undoubtedly come to an end. However, there are reasons to remain cautious, or at least not too optimistic, about the country’s future as no one has any illusions about the tremendous difficulties ahead.”

The fact is that “a new era is yet to come”, due to the current power vacuum and a newly unfolding power struggle, it said.

Currently, the big question was how long the transitional period would last in the crisis-torn North African country now that the Gaddafi regime was gone.

Xinhua said the answer to this largely lies with the rebels themselves.

Now that the common goal of toppling Gaddafi’s rule in Libya has been achieved, can the rebel camp maintain its unity, establish a new cause, strike a sustainable power balance and secure national reconciliation, it asked.

“For the hastily formed National Transitional Council (NTC), it will be an ‘extremely complicated’ and arduous mission to establish a national political structure that includes a parliament, various levels of governments, an army and police force.”

“What’s also fueling the uncertainty about Libya’s future is the involvement of foreign powers, which may seek to have a hand in the post-Gaddifi era for their own benefit,” it said.

Domestic and foreign powers will gradually show up in Libya to grab or expand their interests in the country. As a result, Libya will be confronted with an increasingly complex situation and more variables in the future, it added.