Sunday 4 December 2016

Libya divided as country grapples with a stalemate

Patrick Cockburn

Published 13/04/2011 | 05:00

A rebel fighter adjusts a machine gun atop a pick-up truck on the front line at the western entrance of Ajdabiya yesterday
A rebel fighter adjusts a machine gun atop a pick-up truck on the front line at the western entrance of Ajdabiya yesterday

The conflict between pro and anti-Gaddafi forces in Libya could, according to Moussa Koussa, the former Libyan foreign minister who has fled to Britain, turn the country into another Somalia.

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The ingredients are certainly there for a prolonged conflict. Claims that Muammar Gaddafi is about to fall sound unnervingly similar to predictions in 1991 that Saddam Hussein was going to lose power in Iraq after his calamitous defeat in Kuwait and uprisings by Shia and Kurds that he brutally crushed.

In fact, Saddam survived for another 12 years and was finally only overthrown by an American and British invasion that plunged the country deeper than ever into violence from which it has still not recovered. Could the same thing happen with Gaddafi?

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