Rebels Yell: Libya Controlled By....Who?
January 11, 2012Irvington High School
By Dimitri Jean-Baptiste
Since the U.S. and NATO sacked the former leader of Libya, Muammar Gaddafi, a couple of months ago, the new “government” is still experiencing complications in keeping things under control.
The former rebels, turned government officials, still feel the backlash of civil unrest. For instance, a group of ex-rebels who come from the town of Zintan, took control of Tripoli’s International Airport. Even though Muammar Gaddafi is gone, the Zintan rebels still have the airport in their possession.
The Zintans had other crucial parts of the country in their grasp, but they have been persuaded to release most of them. The group goes by the name, “Thwar,” and they envision themselves as the protectors of the revolution.
Still, Libya is trying to move on from the internal warfare and the new government is attempting to rein in the different types of armed groups throughout the fractured nation.
Other rebel groups similar to the Zintans claim that they would switch places with the official national army and police department if conditions were acceptable. The commander of the Zintans explains that his group may unite with the army once the army properly established itself.
As for why he and his group still maintain independent control of the airport, the commander states, “We have a duty to protect the airport. The revolution is still in danger.The people who complain about us are jealous because we’re doing a good job.”
This “complaining” has intensified recently because of isolated instances of conflicts that have occurred between the various groups. The demonstrations have resulted in battalions being moved to the area.
A recent altercation between rival “ex-rebels” involved the militias of Misrata and Tripoli. Four men died in this conflict. Experts say their is a probability of an internal war as rival parties compete for power.
The Chairmen Of Libya’s National Transition Council has confronted this possibility. In Zawiyan, for example, a town in Libya, the council is taking charge. There is now a local military group composed of former rebels.
Libyan groups, including terrorist organizations linked to Al-Qaeda, are looking to gain control of the country. Abdul Albari is twenty-four and a ex-rebel. He has made his choice and has selected to be a soldier. “My country is more important than my studies,” he has stated.
In addition to this, the government is altering the lessons and curriculum in the classroom.The previous textbooks have been edited and remodel to fit the present point of view of those in power. Recent events have been added and the chapters about Gaddafi and his former shining status have been deleted. His pictures have also been removed from the classroom.
Now included is information about the year-long struggle that eventually led to Lybia’s former leader execution and being dragged through the streets. Sulwyman Ali al Saheli says, “We will not repeat the same mistakes. Our children will study the entire conflict including details of Gaddafi’s death.”
Over one million students have gone back to school in Libya. Mohammad Melek a principal in one Libyan school, says, “We’re trying to do our job as if things are normal. We need to plant in them (students) the love of the country, the spirit of reconciliation and forgetting the past.”
It seems like Libya wants to erased the bitter memories of the past year, including Gaddafi. The country wants to completely erased his memory and look forward to a much brighter future.What that future will be is anyone's guess.