Is Libya Disintegrating as a State?

(Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs) Jacques Neriah - The Libyan rebels were never an army; they were a patchwork of small local militia units, deserters from the regular army, and a smattering of former exiles with military experience. Moreover, the recognition extended by foreign powers to the National Transitional Council (NTC) was far in advance of the extent to which Libyans, even many of those in the forefront of the battle to oust Gaddafi, were willing to accept its lead. The fact that the rebel leadership had not established an alternative power center meant that the collapse of Gaddafi also meant an effective collapse of state authority. The continuing presence of the militias in Libya is seen as a serious - and growing - threat to stability. Disarming them and persuading them to integrate within the national forces is now the greatest challenge facing the fledgling government as it tries to establish security before elections planned later this year.

2012-01-10 00:00:00

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