With Ghaddafi’s military now hemmed in at various enclaves within the vicinity of towns such as Sirte, Bani Walid, Buwayrat and Hun, Libyan officials in the Transitional National Council are keen to avoid the kind of sectarian violence that engulfed Iraq following the ouster of Saddam Hussein in 2003.
Amidst talk of supplying basic amenities such as water and cooking oil; and kick starting an economy almost totally reliant on oil exports, there is also talk of a fostering South African style reconciliation. In the words of Aref Ali Nayed, Stabilization Team Head of the NTC:
You cannot build a country if you don’t have reconciliation and forgiveness [….] Reconciliation has been a consistent message from our President and Prime Minister on (a reference to Chairman of the National Transitional Council, Mr Abdul Jalil and Chairman of the Executive Board Dr. Mahmoud Jibril), down to our religious leaders and local councils
So far the signs are good. There has been no looting of national treasures and the banking system appears to be intact. In contrast to to purge of Baathist party officials in Iraq, almost all Gaddafi-era officials will remain in their posts to ensure continuity.
Destruction and disbandment is the wrong road to take […] It’s better to take a conservative approach, even if it’s not perfect, and build on it slowly.
This amnesty however, will not apply to those who resist the reintergration process, as was made amply clear by Dr Jibril during his recent visit to Malta. Dr. Jibril is Head of International Affairs at the NTC.