After Gaddafi

Libya after Gaddafi hasn’t made a good start. It is all very worrying. There is a plethora of arms in the country. How they came to be there is not clear. What is also worrying is that many arms which were in dumps have disappeared. They are thought to have gone to other African countries, Somalia & other countries where there is the potential for trouble. Presumably they are in the hands of citizens. The BBC World Service has reported that almost every household has several guns. That there are many guns attached to top of cars. The extrajudicial execution of Gaddafi, even though it did settle things once & for all, doesn’t bode well for the future.

There has been much celebrating in the towns & cities of Libya but there appear to have been much settling of scores. There has been talk of introducing Sharia law. Why? Are women going to have their rights taken away? Is anyone who had anything to do with the Gaddafi régime going to be executed. It is all very worrying. They are talking about elections but who will be allowed to vote, what parties will be allowed to run, more speciifally will secular parties be allowed to run, will the result be respected, will it be a secret ballot, will there be safeguards to ensure there will be elections again in 4 or 5 years. If a secular party wins, wins it be allowed to abolish Sharia law if it is introduced. There is much euphoria now. But that has been the case in both Iraq & Iran, the former 32 years ago when the mullahs took over the country, Iraq before the country descended into chaos.

What will happen nobody can know. But the omens are not good. The people of Libya deserve something better than what Gaddafi brought. But with so much tribalism & guns, scores to settle & no history of democracy, one can only hope & wish them luck. The people of Libya are going to need it.

Tunisia has had an election which seems to have been by an Islamic party. They claim to be moderate Islam but that may be a ruse to garner votes. They are promising to lower the price of bread & other food. Quite how they are going to do that I don’t know.

I fear that in 10 years time the time of Gaddafi & Ben-Ali will be looked upon as a golden era.

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