By Sami Zaptia.
Tripoli, 23 October 2014:
Today is the third anniversary of Libya’s declaration of its “liberation” in 2011 after its eight . . .[restrict]month so-called Arab Spring uprising and ensuing war that ended the 42 year Qaddafi dictatorial regime.
In a statement yesterday, the “legitimate” and internationally recognized government of Libya led by Prime Minister Abdullah Thinni congratulated the Libyan people on ending the Qaddafi reign of tyranny.
The statement also simultaneously reached out to the “illegitimate” political and military opposition with an olive branch in one hand while rattling the stick with the other.
“The government has always been and still is guarded on arriving at a comprehensive consensus between the contenders and it always prefers a peaceful solution to the contested issues”, it said in reaching out with an olive branch and with an incentivizing carrot to the other side.
However, it went on to say that “it will also not delay in performing its role in safeguarding security, in executing its sovereignty over all of the Libyan lands, in its management of all of the state’s institutions, and in executing its work from the country’s capital, Tripoli”.
Furthermore, the statement continued, that on the occasion of this anniversary the government wants to assure of its desire for the “exit of all armed groups (militias) from the capital and the peaceful vacating of state property in order to save lives, property and to avoid military escalation”.
The government statement comes on the heels of (unconfirmed) reports that its forces have made some advances on the battle front in the south of Tripoli, as well as on the back of its military push in Benghazi where it claims it has taken back many districts from the opposing terrorist military groups.
More importantly, the government statement comes after a recent media resurgence by PM Thinni after the re-launch of the state controlled Al-Wataniya television channel from the current seat of government in the eastern city of Beida.
In his recent bullish in-depth television interviews, Thinni sent out rallying calls to the residents of Tripoli promising that victory was coming and that the capital will be retaken soon. He also called upon them to prepare to join the official Libyan army in the military operation.
Reacting to some media suggestions that Tripolitanians were reaching some kind of accommodation with their Libya Dawn occupiers, Thinni proclaimed that life is about “dignity” and not “petrol, electricity and water”, in respond to Libya Dawn’s success in solving the city’s supply shortages.
“Life is dignity and not, as it is now claim that there is security in Tripoli. What is this so called security, as they call it? Life is not fuel, nor electricity and water. Dignity is loftier than that”, he said claiming the higher moral ground over his Libya Dawn opponents.
“Even animals multiply and drink and eat. But for human beings there is dignity. Either they live with dignity or they die with dignity. But (it is not acceptable) for a group to come representing a specific class and seize power by force and imposes its will and insults and enslaves the Libyan people”.
“Whoever wants to live in servitude, can live in servitude”, he said last Friday, referring to the illegitimacy of the GNC backed Libya Dawn movement that is currently controlling Tripoli.
“Either the people live with dignity and choose through the ballot box who governs them, or death is more honourable”, added Thinni, stressing the democratic legitimacy of his government forced out of the capital Tripoli and into the exile of the eastern city of Al-Beida.
“Anyone who tells the truth is killed and the sanctity of their homes is assaulted and scorched”, he said referring to attacks on the media and dissenters both in Tripoli and Benghazi.
“It is an honour for us to die rather than be under darkness and tyranny. For if we are to accept darkness and tyranny it would have been better for us to accept it under the rule of Qaddafi. But after 42 years of injustice and tyranny for the Libyan people, comes a group belonging to the Muslim Brotherhood wanting to (forcefully) rule the Libyan people”.
“Everyone is preparing for martyrdom. Death is more honourable. Either this group (Libya Dawn) falls under and accepts the will of the people and resorts to logic, or they are fought against”, stressed Thinni, rattling his stick at his politically illegitimate opponents.
Nevertheless, on the occasion of its third anniversary, while Libya has indeed rid itself of its 42 year old tyrannical Qaddafi regime and has exercised its democratic right to self determination in choosing their political rulers through a consensually agreed political process, it finds itself today with two prime ministers, two governments, and two parliaments.
Three years on from its declaration of liberation from Qaddafi rule, Libya still struggles with a lengthening “provisional or interim” period with its inherent weak government and state in the form of a weak central authority and weak institutions.
The instability during this interim period has meant that the road map as set out by the August 2011 Transitional Constitutional Declaration (TCD), Libya’s current operating “social contract”, has meant that the process of drafting the constitution has been repeatedly delayed – adding to the instability.
The massive amount of weapons that were stored in Qaddafi’s arsenals and were partly liberated by the NATO bombing, are currently disseminated across the country in the hands of thousands of recalcitrant militias unwilling to disarm, disband or come under the command of the legitimately elected parliament or its government.
These very weapons that contributed to the overthrow of the Qaddafi regime are now contributing to Libya’s current instability and are the main tool in the political struggle for power – prior to the drafting of the constitution and the writing of, and the agreement on the rules of the political game.
With no political history of democracy or consensus over the 42 year Qaddafi era, an interim scramble for power, and the control of the oil wealth, has ensued threatening to derail Libya’s nascent steps to a constitution and democratic society.
In the meanwhile, Libya’s High Court is expected to make a ruling early next month on the constitutionality of the House of Representatives’ (HoR) sittings in Tobruk and its handover process from the outgoing General National Congress (GNC). [/restrict]