TRIPOLI (Reuters) – With horse-trading over Libya’s new government in its intense final days, foreign travel might not seem a priority for the interim leader, but when Mustafa Abdul Jalil jetted off to Qatar this week, few were surprised.
The tiny Gulf emirate with big ambitions to parlay its oil wealth into diplomatic influence was a major supporter of Abdul Jalil’s NATO-backed rebels, providing funds, arms and troops and ensuring a gratitude from Libyans that for many, being fellow Arabs, even eclipsed thanks given to Western powers.
TRIPOLI (Reuters) – A commander of Libyan former rebels has warned that his men could overthrow the incoming government if it fails to meet their demands for representation.
The credibility of the threat, made by Tripoli militia leader Abdullah Naker in a Reuters interview, was hard to assess in a city where the balance of forces, three months after the fall of Muammar Gaddafi, is obscure and fluid.
TRIPOLI (Reuters) – Libya’s wartime rebel prime minister said his country faces a lengthy and dangerous power vacuum where foreign powers may exploit rival militias on the streets and he called for a dramatic acceleration in plans for full elections.
In an interview with Reuters, Mahmoud Jibril said he wanted a current timetable for drafting a constitution by mid-2013 to be scrapped in favor of a stripped down process to produce a basic law and a government with full powers in just six months.
TRIPOLI (Reuters) – Despite continued gunfire and explosions near Tripoli on Sunday, Libyan officials and fighters said a bloody local dispute that has strained nerves in the city for three days was being resolved.
Compared to exchanges of rockets and machinegun fire on Saturday, in which medics said at least seven fighters were killed, clashes were limited — a result, officials said, of a deal among leaders from the capital and rival communities from the town of Zawiyah and clan leaders of the Wershifanna tribe.