Libyans reject Iraq-like chaos

2011-09-12 20:15
Tripoli - Libyans are confident about their future, saying their revolutionary country will not plunge into Iraq-like chaos because it is less exposed to terror group al-Qaeda and to ethnic and religious multiplicity.

"Libya will not become a new Iraq. Our situation is much simpler in comparison with that nation's ethnic and political diversities," said Abdel Salam al-Mismari, the co-ordinator of the February 17 Coalition, whose members kick-started the revolt that ousted Muammar Gaddafi from more than four decades in power.

Mismari said all political parties "will take their natural place in the new Libya, but in no way will they be associated with foreign interests or be exposed to external interference".

Many Libyans perceive that, since Iraq's Saddam Hussein was toppled in the 2003 US-led invasion, Iraqi political parties have been exposed to regional pulls and pressures, triggering chaos and gross instability in the Arab country.

Like Iraq, power is changing hands in Libya since the fall of Tripoli on August 23 when anti-Gaddafi forces backed by Nato warplanes captured the capital, forcing Gaddafi and his family to flee.

The whereabouts of Gaddafi, a worldwide wanted fugitive now, are still unknown, but he has previously said he would die in Libya.

No political party

Eight years ago the regime of Saddam, Iraq's strongman since 1975 before becoming president in 1979, ended under bombing by US-led forces.

Since then Iraq has seen instability and brutal conflict between its Shi'ite and Sunni population and multi-ethnic groups. It has also been a base for US forces, which are due to pull out at the end of this year.

The divisions have been exacerbated by Iraq's neighbours and other foreign interests.

Iraq also turned into a bastion of al-Qaeda and became one of the four most-corrupt countries in the world, according to Transparency International.

Such a situation would not occur in Libya, say researchers.

"There is no comparison between Iraq and Libya because in Libya there is no political party having any overseas allegiance," said Abdelhakim Belhaf, the military commander in Tripoli, who was previously suspected of links with al-Qaeda, and now spends time denying any ideological affiliation with the terror network.

"We carried out a war of liberation, while Iraq suffered a foreign invasion," he said.

Unlike Iraq, Libya's population is almost entirely Sunni Muslim. It also does not have the ethnic diversity of Iraq, which comprises Arabs, Kurds and Turkomans.

Simmering tension


"Libyan society is 90% homogeneous," said Fawzia Barioune, a researcher in Middle East affairs at the University of Michigan in the United States who recently returned to Libya after 32 years in exile.

Libya's population is majority Arab with some Berber minority in the west and Africans in the south.

"Even if the West has helped us materially, we are willing to pay the price, but Libyans will not let anyone or any state undermine its sovereignty," she said.

Mohammed Tarcin, the spokesperson for Tripoli's local council which replaced the municipality in the capital, also airs similar views.

"There is a difference between Libya and Iraq. Libyans desired and created a revolution, while Iraq has been a focus of competing outside interests," he said.

Meanwhile, at least 12 people were killed and 16 wounded Saturday when two groups of fighters opposed to Gaddafi turned on each other in western Libya, while reports of simmering tension between rival rebel groups are also emerging.

Read more on:    muammar gaddafi  |  libya  |  libya protests  |  north africa  |  uprisings
NEXT ON NEWS24X
SHARE:

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
0 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
 

Inside News24

 
/Music
 

17 photo illusions that look so real

What if they aren’t illusions? What if that dog really has a human foot – then what?

 
 

For chic geeks...

It’s THIS easy for someone to steal your ATM pin!
Check out the speed of this robo-cheetah!
New GIF keyboard on iOS for added fun!
Puppy goes crazy over iPad game

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Magical Massinga

Spend 5 nights at the gorgeous Massinga Beach Lodge in Mozambique and only pay for 4 from R13 220 per person sharing. Includes return flights, accommodation, transfers and romantic turndown. Book now!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

Pre-order your iPhone 6 at kalahari.com

Hurry and pre-order your own iPhone 6 now at SA’s favourite online store!

Bargain box – 60% off

Reduced prices, very limited stock. While stocks last. Hurry and shop now!

Mind blow low prices on electronics

Get either the Prestigio multiphone or Proline tablet 7” tablet for only R699. Offers valid while stocks last. Shop now!

30% off Barbie toys

Save 30% on all Barbie toys and accessories. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Baby extravanganza month at kalahari.com

Celebrate baby month with a wide range of awesome baby products. Offers valid while stocks last. Shop now.

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

There is a tendency to fight against the current today but this will just use up a lot of energy and not get you very far. You...read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.








Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.