6 December 2013

Libyan Bloggers Discuss Militia Threat

Tunis — With the bloodshed in Libya continuing unabated, observers online are urging the government to act quickly and restore order.

Writing at his "West Tripoli" blog, Mohamed al-Hefiyan warned in a post named "Road to Kandahar" that the ongoing conflict between Islamist fighters and army forces could lead to a Taliban-like regime in Libya.

"What I fear most is that conflicts in Libya lead to a Taliban-like regime similar to the one we saw in Afghanistan between 1994 and 2000," he said.

This is turning into "a pervasive struggle between two forces: a regional front trying to make gains and establish regional authority in some areas for various reasons, and a religious front with its different components, starting with the Muslim Brotherhood, salafists and ending with al-Qaeda," he added.

The blogger wrote that radical Islamist groups would be the biggest beneficiary from chaos and the ongoing conflict between different areas and groups.

"The national unity war and confrontations between regional forces and Islamists will re-build the Afghan project in Libya because there are no clear differences between the Muslim Brotherhood, salafists and al-Qaeda in general principles," he added.

"The most extremist party will prevail over all other parties in such cases. The territorial integrity war will be like a boiler that will aggravate religious extremism, and the religious current will likely crush tribal and regional forces. However, it will build a state that will dig graves for public freedoms and turn Libya into a big prison and a safe haven for extremists from neighbouring countries," he warned.

In his turn, blogger Mohamed Egmia said Libya would likely fall into chaos and hostilities and face an unknown future in case clashes in Libyan cities continue or war erupts with Ansar al-Sharia.

"Resorting to bloody confrontations to resolve our crises will only lead the country to a flood of blood and a whirlpool of violence that Libya will never get out of," he wrote. "These are wars where none will win; we'll only have death and destruction for all."

The blogger concluded that substantive dialogue and containment were the only way to spare the country violence and discord.

Meanwhile, the Mellakheer blog seemed to be more optimistic about the results of conflicts with armed groups.

In a post entitled "Libya born anew," the blogger wrote, "The popular movement which accompanied these confrontations and voiced its rejection of this security chaos is a positive indicator showing a growing popular anger against all armed groups, a support of the government and a desire to see security and stability restored."

"The biggest winner in this movement is the people themselves," he added. "Likewise, the importance of this movement lies in its support of the government. The incapable government found a strong supporter in the Libyan people who enabled it to implement the decision to rid Tripoli and other Libyan cities of armed militias and activate the army and police."

The blogger said that the recent events were like a corrective revolution, and urged the government to take advantage of this situation to implement its decisions and apply the law.

"The current circumstance compels the government to fully shoulder its responsibility towards this popular movement, which showed how aware and decisive the Libyan people are," he added.

"However, the people need a national army to stand by their side; an army to be concerned with the preservation of the country's and people's security and safety. They also need a government to work to improve citizens' lives," he said.

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