So if you’ve been paying any attention to the news lately, you know that Libya is the latest country to find a break down in political order. As with Tunisia and Egypt, Libyans are fed up with the authoritarian government and lack of accountability. Nearly half of Libya’s population is under 18, unemployment is around 30%, there is no wealth or opportunity available to the people, and the government squelches dissent.
Since the collapse of the Egyptian government, several countries called for a day of rage. This day of rage is a translation of an Arabic term and does not hold such a violent, aggressive connotation, instead it is more of a day of expression. In a country that violently represses any dissent, it is remarkable that such protests have risen.
Here’s some facts on the past week in Libya:
The Libyan ambassadors to several countries (including England, India and Indonesia) have resigned and now calling for more protests and increased international pressure on Qadaffi.
It is rumored that Qadaffi has fled the country and is now hiding in Venezuela. He denies it (in a 15 second televised speech) and also calls on the country not to believe the media, to instead remain trusting him.
Protesters have taken over several cities within the country and have almost taken over Tripoli (the capital). There have been extremely violent confrontations between the army/police and the protesters. At least a thousand people have died. At least two commanders in the army have defected to Malta after the refused to attack protesters with weapons from airplanes.
Several ministers and army officials have left the government and fled to Malta in search of asylum. They are also calling for the rest of the army to join the protesters in overthrowing the government.
The United Nations is holding a meeting in the next few days in Geneva to talk about the Human Rights Violations that are currently being committed. The international community has condemned the government actions against the people.
A fatwa has been issued against Qadaffi (he’s been in power nearly 42 years). A fatwa is a religious ruling in Islam made by a Muslim scholar that is typically non-binding but it is permanent. Some fatwas, like the one issued against Qadaffi, calls for any individual who has the opportunity to kill him also has the responsibility to do so. It is also considered legal (relatively speaking).
A great website for up to date information on the events and what the world community (and media) is saying.
So where does this leave Libya? What impacts will another regime change have on the international community?