Monday, March 21, 2011

So, what are the next steps for Libya?

The imposition of 'No Fly Zone' and air attacks on Gaddafi's jets and attack helicopters, managed to mitigate the violence against the civilians, which is an excellent thing. In addition to the implementation of the UN resolution to protect the civilians, the UN Secretary General, Ban Ki-moon, spent the weekend meeting with leaders in Europe and Egypt to achieve peace through talks and diplomatic pressure. However, is this the best scenario for Libya in the current situation?

Just like there are protestors that want to oust Gaddafi, there are others who are protesting against the international attack on Libya. Everybody has the right to have their own opinion but the unfortunate outcome in this situation is that the innocent people are being killed on both sides and the country as a whole is being weakened. 

Those who think that that these attacks are inappropriate must take concrete steps to convince the current government of Libya to ensure that the common man in the country is not killed but is heard and respected. At the end of the day, it is Libyan leadership that is responsible for the future of the country, the well-being of its people and the diplomatic relationship with the international community. 

The United Nations and NATO forces can only intervene when the local government fails to protect its civilians. However, international intervention is not the ideal situation for any country. 

It is never too late, Libyans can still do the right thing and take control of their country. Here are some broad suggestions, which need to be contextualized and given a timeline: 

  1. Gaddafi and his aids refocus their strategy from 'fighting with the whole world to retain power' to 'empowering their nation by peaceful talks and recognizing the voice of the masses'.
  2. Libyan leaders from both sides come together and commit to fair elections in the country. It is not easy but a sincere start will surely calm down the international intervention.
  3. Col. Gaddafi is retired in a dignified way and settle down where he feels secure and comfortable. If any of his sons want to inherit the power, they run for the office in the upcoming elections and work hard for the well-being of their countrymen to prove their worth. 
  4. In the meantime, a neutral leader or a coalition governance is put in place. If needed, leaders like Amr Moussa, the head of the Arab League, can assist in the negotiations to reach a consensus. 
  5. Democracy is established in any form  that is acceptable by all, as soon as possible. 
  6. All steps are taken to protect the civilians and to compensate as much as possible for the loss that they have suffered due to government actions during this unrest.
Once steps such as these are implemented, Libyans can take full control of their country and its oil. But by violent repression of the masses, it is impossible to ensure a bright future for the country. Libya, please respond to the call of Peace!

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