Magazine article The Middle East

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Magazine article The Middle East

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Although Prime Minister Ali Zeidan would have us believe differently, Libya is in a perilous situation. Thousands took to the streets in February to voice their opposition against a decision by the interim GNC to extend its 18-month mandate that expired last month.

The General National Congress (GNC) was elected in 2012 to set things in motion for a general election. Clearly, this has not happened, now many Libyans have lost patience and want a clean sweep.

Since dictator Muammar Gaddafi's four-decade rule ended in February 2011 the country has been in turmoil. There is an increasing power struggle among militias who fought against Gaddafi during the uprising that shows no sign of abating. The former rebels refuse to lay down their arms, despite efforts by the central government to impose law and order. Meanwhile, a variety of extremist groups watch the situation with interest. Fearful of a political vacuum emerging, Major General Khalifa Haftar, a leading figure in the 2011 revolution against Muammar Gaddafi, has called for a presidential committee to be formed to govern until new elections can be held.

While there is sufficient rhetoric and sabre rattling between the various factions to make your eyes water, there is precious little going on between them to negotiate a united resolution that might save them and their six million Libyan countrymen from further violent upheaval.

A friend of mine has a small flat in a three-storey block in the South of France. …

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