Libya is heading into the New Year with new leaders and hopes. But it turns out, as the immediate post-revolutionary excitement fades, the different factions of the former rebels are turning on each other in what may become a competition for power.
Flying high, but still running low – almost two months after the lifting of a no-fly zone over Tripoli, the city’s airport operates far below its capacity. Yet, the passenger traffic keeps increasing every month, as more and more airlines are putting Tripoli back on their flight schedules.
The Tripoli airport is once again buzzing with visitors. Eight airlines have already resumed service; more are expected to follow in the coming months. But while flight controllers and customs officials are back at their desks, it is still the militia who call the shots here. And the rebels themselves admit that the situation is still way too turbulent to cede control to civilian authorities.
They are no longer flashing their guns yet make it very clear who is in control. The rebel brigade from the western city of Zintan captured the airport in late August, as the rebels overran the capital. The control of this key facility helped a town with the population of some 50,000 rise to national prominence. Since then, the Zintan militia has successfully styled itself as the safeguards of Libya’s future.
“For 42 years our country had nothing. No state institutions, just one insane person who ruled us. Now we have a historic mission to overcome the difficulties of the transitional period and build a new country, let Allah’s will be upon us,” a Zintan Militia commander, Mukhtar al-Akhdar, told RT.