Monday 19 March 2018

What now for Libya?


•Can Gaddafi's regime survive?

Muammar Gaddafi was defiant yesterday, but almost everyone else believes that with the rebels on the outskirts of Tripoli, his supply lines cut off and his ministers defecting, there is no way back. The only question is the nature of his fall from power.

•Will he go into exile?

Nato officials say talks have taken place with members of the Gaddafi regime.

At this stage the only negotiated conclusion the allies and rebels would accept would be exile for the Gaddafi family, perhaps with immunity from prosecution.

The main possibility of exile outside the Arab world is in Venezuela, whose leader Hugo Chavez is an old friend.

However, Gaddafi himself and Saif al-Islam Gaddafi, the son seen as his political heir, both claimed yesterday to be fighting on.

•Where is he?

Gaddafi's recent media appearances have been by telephone. If he is outside Tripoli, he could have gone to one of two personal fiefdoms -- his birthplace of Sirte, and his ancestral home of Sabha in the south.

•How might it end?

If Gaddafi and his family are captured or give themselves up, he and leading regime members should be sent to The Hague to face indictments from the International Criminal Court.

Irish Independent

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