Although the exact circumstances of his death are still emerging, footage from a number of mobile phones has provided evidence to suggest that the former Libyan leader died of bullet wounds. It has become a cause for concern in the Western world with the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Navi Pillay, suggesting a full investigation be required.
However, Gaddafi’s death has not solved the issues surrounding the eight-month war; as it was a war about more than one man. The National Transitional Council now has the difficult task of reuniting a nation; a task that the outgoing acting Prime Minister, Mahmoud Jibril believes “needs patience, needs vision and needs the people to differentiate between the past and the future.”
It is not only the uniting of a nation that is important; it is the disarming of a nation too. It is expected that isolated violence from loyalists may continue into the foreseeable future. The rebel’s guns are currently insurance policies against the impending political process. Libya has never before had electoral systems therefore the forthcoming electoral process, expected in 2013, will be difficult. It has been suggested that the voluntary resignation of the acting PM and any of those in power will persuade many to drop their weapons.
In order to unite the nation, the police force needs reactivating. The rebuilding of the national army also needs to occur; uniting the different contingents formed during the war. The US announced an $11million aid package this week that will be targeted at disarming the nation. Risk consultant Geoff D Porter told the Associated Press: “Libya is going to be one big arms bazaar for the foreseeable future.”
The importance of disarming Libya is increased with regard to oil. The militia in desert areas need disarming so that oil rigs can be reached safely again. Producing an average of around 1.6 million barrels a day before the war, the reactivation of the oil industry will be vital to the economy and infrastructure repair. As it is, fuel prices continue to be extremely high.
Of the schools that have reopened, reconciliation is the main focus as many children of Gaddafi supporters are afraid to return. The mandatory course on Gaddafi’s Green Book, on his political and social philosophy, taught before the war will now be removed from the curriculum and the legacy of the former leader will be revised.
It is as yet uncertain whether an amnesty will be offered to Gaddafi supporters and his relatives that found refuge in Algeria and Niger. What is certain is that Libya has a long way to go in reforming its nation and putting the 42 year dictatorship behind it before the democratic elections expected in 2013.