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Libya crisis: Is freedom overrated?
Freedom is overrated. This expression may sound pessimistic and untruthful to many but it certainly seems to be true. Let's take a look at the situation in Libya in pre and post-Gaddafi era.

IT HAS been one year since the death of Brother Leader Muammar Gaddafi. The Libyans were certainly joyous when the news of his death broke out on 20th October, 2011 but that joy has now given way to uncertainty.

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There is increasing threat of another civil war in the country. One Prime Minister has already resigned because his cabinet was not approved by the Parliament for a second time. The reason, it didn’t represent the whole of Libya. The current Prime Minister has proposed his cabinet and people have started to question his judgement too. They say that it contains members of the Gaddafi regime and so, is unacceptable.

Post Gaddafi’s death, the National Transitional Council announced that it aimed to create a just society where the members and supporters of Gaddafi regime would be treated as any other Libyan would. They would be given equal opportunities. Well, the criticism of the proposed cabinet justifies that point.

Following the approval of the cabinet, the Libyan Parliament was stormed by protesters, the third time it happened in the month.

One good piece of news for the Libyans is that oil production has restarted and it has reached pre-war levels of 1.7 million barrels per day, bringing in the much needed money to run the country.

What has changed?

· Libya has a new bunch of parliamentarians who have been elected by the people.

· A new Prime Minister whose key cabinet ministers are technocrats holding MA or PhD degrees.

· A complete overhaul of the armed forces has begun with some of the rebels already absorbed in the army.

· Disbanding of the militias has begun in some areas.

· Regional issues have cropped up: Benghazi residents are not happy with the representation provided in the Parliament.

· American consulate was attacked and set ablaze on 11th September, 2012 killing four Americans including the American ambassador. It resulted in widespread protests condemning the attack; a new for Libya since under Gaddafi, America was a great enemy.

· Conflicts among tribes have risen and have resulted in deaths.

· Armed militia clashing with each other is also a common phenomenon.

What needs to change?

· The armed militias have to disband before things get further out of hand.

· More people need to be included in the government.

· Adequate representation for different regions is needed if the country is to remain united.

· Money has to be put in infrastructure development for the country to progress.

· Heritage sites, which includes masoleums and shrines are to be protected from Salafists.

· Civil society needs to be created and promoted.

· Reconciliation for Gaddafi supporters and regime members has to take place, the country as a whole needs to accept them instead of rejecting them.

Since the revolution and subsequent Civil War of 2011, the country is awash with weapons including heavy weaponry. For a peaceful society, this needs to be taken care of. More dialogues need to be initiated with regions that are dissenting for retaining a united Libya. Since the revolution began, one major issue that has come up is that of Gaddafi loyalists. Medgar Evers once said, “You can kill a man but you can’t kill an idea”. The former rebels need to remember this and instead of hatred need to accept them in the society.

Gaddafi was biased towards Sirte area, initiating and completing many projects in the region that improved the condition of living for residents of the area. There was a feeling of jealously and hatred in other regions because of this unjust treatment but that was the past and now the region as a whole has to be integrated instead of being shunned. The increasing cases of armed confrontations between different militia are risking the peace and security of the country. The brigade commanders need to realise that now is not the time to fight for power, after all they were not the only ones who lost people in the name of freedom during the bloody and destructive Civil War.

There were war crimes committed during the conflict by both sides and they need to be addressed. People involved need to be brought to justice so that citizens are shown that rule of law now prevails in the country. The government also needs to allow an independent investigation into the circumstances of Muammar Gaddafi’s death so that this particular chapter can be closed for ever.

It’s interesting to see things people do for freedom; they kill, they destroy and they create. In Libya, the first two have been achieved with great results; 25000 dead during the conflict with another 50000 injured, cities and towns razed. What is left is creation. The new government has to work for it and it needs to work hard and fast for the freedom to prevail or else the country will descend into chaos and complete anarchy.

Editorial NOTE: This article is categorized under Opinion Section. The views expressed in this article are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of merinews.com. In case you have a opposing view, please click here to share the same in the comments section.
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