Simmering tensions in Libya

As the international media focuses on the bloodbath in Syria and the continuing upheaval in neighbouring Egypt, the volatile situation in Libya brewing beneath the surface had been relegated to the back burner of world attention until July’s elections. Former Libyan dictator Muammar Gadaffi may be dead and his detested regime overthrown but problems continue to beset the country.

The Libyan Public National Conference Elections were originally scheduled for June but were postponed until July reflecting the disorganisation and the deep dissatisfaction with the performance of the ruling National Transitional Council (NTC) in conjunction with a host of other issues. Dissatisfaction with the NTC has been compounded by divisions between competing militias – pitting those who favour Gadaffi against those who fought against him, tribal rivalries, and ethnic tensions. The myriad problems, exacerbated by struggles to control lucrative arms and other smuggling routes, have resulted in serious outbreaks of violence, including the recent forced closing of Tripoli’s airport by armed militia as well as hundreds of deaths in inter-militia fighting around the country.

As simmering tensions threaten new government Mel Frykberg reports from Libya

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