Qaddafi Isolated By International Community, Rebels Preparing to Enter Capital

Amidst ongoing violence against protesters in Libya, the security council of the UN has placed sanctions on Col. Moammar el-Qaddafi and referred the attacks to the ICC. [1]

Libya is now the latest country to be engulfed in protests calling for its leader’s ouster. Though several parts of the country are now under the control of rebels, and army defectors,[2] Tripoli remains under control of Qaddafi’s forces. While there is a possibility that there will be enough defectors, and people turning against Qadaffi to end this soon he still has a significant force of loyalists. Rebel forces are outside the capital city of Tripoli and preparing for an offensive, said Brig. Gen. Ahmed Gatrani.[3] If rebel forces fail to help opponents of the regime in Tripoli, and oust Qaddafi it seems uncertain Libyans can be liberated on their own.

“…regime opponents in Tripoli are grappling with the realization that dislodging Gaddafi and his loyalists from the capital is going to be far tougher than it was in the string of towns and cities in the east overrun by protesters within days of a mass uprising Feb. 17.”[4]

The hope is that there will be enough people against Qaddafi to ensure his downfall.

Regardless, people in Tripoli are besieged, terrorized, and now hungry. Clashes between rebel forces and Qaddafi’s loyalists are only going to worsen the situation if it drags.

Qaddafi has been viewed as an unstable person, and rightly so. His forces have opened fire on unarmed civilians,[5] he has hired mercenaries from outside the country to kill protesters,[6]and he has ordered fighter pilots to bomb his own people.[7]

Though sanctions can help in preventing Qaddafi from doing certain things such as hiring more mercenaries, and stopping him from leaving the country (even if no one wants him except Hugo Chavez perhaps) it might not be enough to completely turn the tide against him. It’s preferable, of course that the people of Libya oust their dictator just as Tunisia, and Egypt did, but in the event that they don’t perhaps an outside military intervention, composed of several countries, might be necessary. Without one there could be further unimaginable suffering for those in Tripoli, and anyone caught between opponents and supporters of Qaddafi.

What he has done on the ground in these recent weeks, and his declaration of only going out as a martyr[8]all signal a mentally unstable person capable of fighting to the death, and taking many others along with him.



[1] Wyatt, Edward. The New York Times, “Security Council Calls for War Crimes Inquiry in Libya,” February 27, 2011., pp.A14.

[2] Fadel, Leila. The Washington Post, “Rebel army may be formed as Tripoli fails to oust Gadaffi,” February 26, 2011.

[3] Ibid.

[4] Ibid.

[5] Kirkpatrick, David D. The New York Times, “Long Bread Lines and Barricades in Libya’s Capital,” February 27, 2011, pp.A1.

[6] Baldauf, Scott. The Christian Science Monitor, “Qaddafi’s ties to rebel groups scrutinized as ‘African mercenaries patrol Libya,” February 23, 2011.

[7] Sandels, Alexandra. The Los Angeles Times, “LIBYA: Government asks Malta to return defector’s fighter jets,” February 25, 2011.

[8] CBS News, “Qaddafi: I will fight protesters, die a martyr,” February 22, 2011.

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