Many Libyans are still jubilant from defeating Colonel Qaddafi, a man whose rule is often marked with violence and aggression. Throughout the conflict, National Transitional Council showed leadership and resolve in crushing the loyalists of the past regime.

The October 23, 2011 marks the day of liberation. The common people heave a sigh of relief.

Now we must heal the wounds of war that affect the families…both the rebels and the loyalists alike. At the end, all of them are Libyans, and thus worthy of ‘national reconciliation’.

Relief, recovery and reconciliation are daunting tasks the government alone cannot undertake on its own. The help of international community is instrumental in guiding and coordinating for post-conflict issues.  

The government’s primary mandate would be to mobilize foreign aid and build national capacity. Complementing efforts by the international community would act in strengthening the partnership between Libya and the world.

Beyond the humanitarian emergency, another task would be to accelerate early recovery and facilitate the transition from relief to development. To complement aid with trade, the transition government would encourage expansion of country’s nascent manufacturing, agricultural and other industries.

In addition to investment and risk insurance, the government would mobilize international expertise for a national recovery plan encompassing a broad range of activities from microcredit to public health.

National Transitional Council has pledged to address the root causes of conflict. It has repeatedly recognized the legitimate hopes of Libyan people for greater political and cultural rights. With elections upcoming, the credibility of the government will be judged not by its saying, but by its doing.

Political reconciliation will be determined by the government’s ability to further the aspirations of the people of the country. To help political process move smoothly, the government’s mandate would be to include political issues. That means working with the local agencies and tribes to encourage constitutional reforms enabling decentralization and power-sharing.

In every post-conflict situation, national and international forces align to promote sustainable peace. The international community, which generously supports Libya, has yet to deliver the frozen assets in full to the government in Libya. The much-needed assets would certainly ameliorate the suffering of many, particularly those injured during the war.

The greatest challenge to the transitional government is to reintegrate thousands of those who remained to the side of the previous regime till the end. Many of them now languish in displacement camps and various prisons.

Simultaneously, the government must balance the need to make sure that the loyalist fighters are not hiding among the displaced to strike back at will as once it happened in Tripoli, thus the need for an efficient screening process and sharp vigilance.

Delays cause inordinate suffering and are inconsistent with the humanitarian nature of Libya’s revolution. The rebels through military action achieved extraordinary goal. They deserve all appreciation.

But all those who worked under the previous regime cannot be held responsible for the crimes committed by one person. Measures are needed to reintegrate rank-and-file into civil society so they can participate in the peace-building process and in the making of a new Libya.

The new authority should also strengthen Libya’s partnership with African Union, which is critical to mobilizing support in the region and beyond.

Without a peace and reconciliation process, Libya would face a daunting task in healing the wound and would also be contrary to the sacredness of its revolution.  

The Libyan people have proved their dynamism and vitality. It is expected that the task ahead is not beyond their potential, and that it is performed with utmost professional proficiency and competency.

Published in Print: The Tripoli Post, Saturday, Nov. 26-Dec. 2, 2011, Libya.

Categories: Democracy in Libya


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