Wednesday, February 23, 2011
Gaddafi does not give up
This appearance on tv, clearly the appearance of a madman, may be Gaddafi´s last. Telling his countrymen that he is not going away but rather will die a martyr, that he has not ordered violence but that if he does everything will burn. And appealing to his followers to regain the streets, against the rioters who are inspired by islamists. While in the meantime the country is clearly falling apart and mercenaries and part of his troops are killing at random. What is worrying is the idea of the after-Gaddafi. These troops that have been firing at their nown people are a problem in itself. And the question who will fill the vacuum once Gaddafi hs gone or has been killed is also a thrilling one. Libya is no Egypt or Tunisia with enough able people to fill in the gaps. The Jamahiriyya (or republic of the masses, a Gaddafi neologism - formed from the words jamahir, mass, and jumhouriya, republic) has been ruled for 41 years in the silly Gaddafi so called direct democracy style via ´popular committees´ and by Gaddafi´s secret services. It will be a complete surprise for everybody to see who, or what forces, will step forward if the ´brother colonel´ is no longer around.
But meanwhile the state is crumbling. Libyan diplomats across the world have either resigned or renounced Gaddafi's leadership.Late on Tuesday night, General Abdul-Fatah Younis, the interior minister, became the latest government official to stand down, saying that he was resigning to support the "February 17 revolution". He urged the Libyan army to join the people and their "legitimate demands".
On Wednesday, Youssef Sawani, a senior aide to Saif al-Islam Gaddafi, one of Muammer Gaddafi's sons, resigned from his post "to express dismay against violence", Reuters reported. Earlier, Mustapha Abdeljalil, the country's justice minister, had resigned. Diplomat's at Libya's mission to the United Nations called on the Libyan army to help remove "the tyrant Muammar Gaddafi". A group of army officers has also issued a statement urging soldiers to "join the people" and remove Gaddafi from power.
Parts of the country seem to be out of Gaddafi's control. Benghazi, the country's second largest city, was taken over by protesters after days of bloody clashes, and soldiers posted there are reported to have deserted and joined the anti-government forces. Local people in Benghazi seem to be forming committees to manage the affairs of the city. Several other cities in the country's east are said to be under the control of protesters, including Tobruk, where a former army major told the Reuters news agency: "All the eastern regions are out of Gaddafi's control ... the people and the army are hand-in-hand here."
The Paris-based International Federation for Human Rights says that protesters also control Sirte, Misrata, Khoms, Tarhounah, Zenten, Al-Zawiya and Zouara. The Warfalla tribe, the largest in the country, has also joined calls from other tribes for Gaddafi to stand down.
In teh capital Tripoli the fights are still going on. Human Rights Watch said that witnesses in Tripoli have described Libyan forces firing "randomly" at protesters in the capital on February 22 and 21, 2011. While Human Rights Watch was unable to verify these reports, sources from two hospitals in Tripoli said at least 62 bodies, victims of clashes, had been brought into their morgues since February 20.
The United Nations Security Council on Tuesday expressed "grave concern" at the situation in the country, condemning the use of force against civilians.