Libya: in suspended animation

Ghaddafi symbolically rubbishes the UN Charter on 23rd September 2009 (STAN HONDA/AFP/Getty Images)

With nearly a month passing since the last UNOCHA situation update for Libya, the conflict in the troubled North African state appears to have reached a stalemate, welcome in the narrow humanitarian sense but less so in the broader political.

According to UN official figures, well over a million people (mostly expats) have fled Libya since the troubles began on 17th February. An uncertain number (ranging from a few to several thousand) have either perished or have been seriously injured.

Thus far, 14 countries have recognised the TNC according to this press release. Worth noting too that of these, only Gambia and Senegal are African states. Notwithstanding early rhetoric, only three Arab League countries, namely Qatar, the UAE and Jordan have recognised the TNC.  Libya ironically, remains suspended from the Arab League. Did it indeed ever belong?

It is hard to imagine that an legitimate power sharing agreement can be put in place so long as Ghaddafi retains even the vestiges of power. Admittedly he is a potent symbol for some (possibly even many), but for all the wrong reasons.

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