Libya: policy options for transition

Libya: policy options for transition

Libya: where to now?

What now for Libya with the fall of the authoritarian, centralised ‘one-party’ system? With the Gaddafi regime defeated and dispersed policy analysts and development professionals will swiftly look to support reconstruction – and reconciliation – efforts in the country. To discuss how a post-Gaddafi transition would be effected and the attendant priorities enacted a leading group of academics recently gathered to offer suggestions and direction for the new administration. The participants highlighted a key number of areas, which included security; political transition; foreign relations; funding and reconstruction.

Four key points emerged from the meeting:

  • There will have to be immediate reengagement with the police in Tripoli to help bring about the restoration of civilian order. It seems there are already good communications in place to allow this to happen
  • In the immediate post-conflict period there will be an urgent need to establish a process to collect weapons, as large sections of the civilian population will be left with arms. It is possible that financial incentives may be necessary for this process
  • In order to restore the provision of basic services to the population the tactics currently being used by the rebels to pressure Tripoli – such as cutting off supplies – will need to be quickly reversed
  • A key aspect of reconstruction will be the return of skilled expatriate and diaspora Libyans. The National Transitional Council (NTC) should consider explicitly inviting people back to help with
    reconstruction efforts.
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