Friday, April 1, 2011

Who still supports Muammar Gaddafi?

Thursday, March 31, the Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said the international community was "united" about Libya. It is true that the coalition operating in the country is particularly wide, bringing together both Arab countries, NATO, the United States and many European countries. Yet, Muammar Qaddafi and his regime are not completely isolated.

He who calls himself the Libyan leader can still count on significant support in both his country and internationally. If Muammar Gaddafi does not have the status of President of Libya, and that her Green Paper is theoretically not a constitution, the regime remains well entrenched at all levels of society.

The revolutionary committees Libyan leader may first be based on the revolutionary committees. These local bodies that bring together the country have been put in place by Gaddafi in 1977, and are responsible for ensuring the advent of the Jamahiriya (State of the masses), name of the doctrine established by him.

"The idea was to give decision-making power to the people, in a kind of participatory democracy," said Barah Mikail, research director at the Foundation for International Relations and External Dialogue (Fride). Their main function during the reign of Qaddafi was in fact maintain the illusion that each could decide at its own scale, the de facto guide concentrating power around him.

Their mere existence has nevertheless contributed to the popularity of the scheme. Said Haddad, associate researcher at the Institute for Research and Studies on the Arab and Muslim world (IREMAM) and an expert on Libya, said that even the revolutionary committees are the backbone of the ideological system, "adding that some their members are constituted as "armed militias".

An extensive family network may also Gaddafi also count on his large family. Hasni Abidi, director of the Center for Studies and Research on the Arab and Mediterranean World (CERMAM) in Geneva, even estimated in a previous article it was one of the elements that guaranteed the stability of the regime.

His inner circle of friends is composed of his son, whom he has entrusted crucial responsibilities. Saif al-Islam has long been considered the natural successor of Muammar Gaddafi's regime represents the opening to the West, when Mutassim Billah Gadhafi, fourth son of the Guide, was employed as a consultant for security affairs.

Khamis, army officer, leads a special squad responsible for the safety of his father while the elder sibling, Mohamed, is the head of the telecommunications network in the country. "We must add that beyond that circle very close, there are family connections," says Said Haddad. As at the time of King Idris al-Sanoussi, marriages play an important role for Gaddafi in terms of influence, "the researcher continued." It is not easy to assess the spectrum of the Gaddafi family , said Luis Martinez, research director at CERI-Sciences Po, but some say 50 000 people, taking into account the extended family and the increasing population in the last forty years.

"Tribal People Support The tribal dimension Libya is also important. Warfala If the tribe, which has nearly one million members located in the Benghazi region, has asked the people to oppose the plan, two others remained loyal to Muammar Gaddafi: the Gaddafi, whose guide was born and the Magharba present around Sirte and Ras Lanuf.

Finally, the Libyan leader retains the support of part of the population, provides Barah Mikail. "For a significant number of people on site, Gaddafi is Libya. They have not known anything else and can not be projected on a political alternative, "said Said Haddad. Others have benefited from the generosity of the system on the redistribution of oil profits, and interest in protecting .

'There are also those which might be called the' naturalized ', born of foreign parents, and who was offered the Libyan nationality. Those feel beholden to the regime, Luis Martinez added. And finally, some are simply afraid of the rebels, the official propaganda presents as bloodthirsty Islamists.

"In Africa, Gaddafi keeps supporters since the beginning of the revolt Libya, the African Union (AU), which has fifty countries , never strongly condemned the actions of Muammar Gaddafi. The Security Council and peacekeeping oganisation had on March 11 rejected any form of foreign military intervention in Libya, offering his services to arrange a mediation between the rebels and government.

The AU, however, invited to the London Conference held on March 29, has not made the trip. The fact that the organization does not formally repudiate the Libyan leader is not a surprise. Muammar Gaddafi in fact been initiated by the creation of the AU in 2002. "There has been a champion of pan-Africanism," said Barah Mikail, at the point of demanding to be called 'king of kings' s traditional Africa 'during his election for a year at the helm of the organization in 2009.

"An article in The New York Times even says that the Libyan leader would pay 15% of the contributions of the organization. Luis Martinez also mentioned a" willingness to spare the Libyan regime "from the AU, which must at the same time" to avoid hitting countries like France or the United Kingdom.

"His proposal to act as intermediary between the insurgents and Tripoli falls within this framework. During his four decades in power, Muammar Gaddafi has also made significant investments in certain African countries, starting with Mali. The New York Times said in the article cited earlier that Libya financed the construction of a mosque in Bamako, established a public television service, and contributed to the building of local government in Mali.

This policy has earned him significant popularity in the country, so that several thousand people marched through the streets of Bamako on March 25 in support of the Libyan leader. "Similar investments have involved countries such as Niger and the Central African Republic," said Said Haddad.

Arab embarrassed attitude of the Arab League vis-à-vis the Libyan crisis was more ambiguous. The organization, despite opposition from Algeria, Syria and Yemen, had initially called for the establishment of a no-fly zone, before criticizing the strikes from the coalition after the intervention started.

This body, which counts among its ranks of other unsteady regimes, such as Yemen and Bahrain, he was suddenly transformed into support of Qaddafi? "The Arab League may have been frightened by his own audacity," said Said Haddad. "His position may have been perceived as too 'pro-Western', and could serve its secretary general, Amr Moussa, who plans to present to the Egyptian presidential election," adds Barah Mikail.

"Moreover, for Algeria, Syria and Yemen, supporting strikes symbolically opened the door to a home intervention in insurgencies, what seems to them insurmountable," said Luis Martinez. The Arab League has tempered its support for the coalition action at the risk of appearing suddenly lenient Gaddafi.

Castro and Chavez, anti-Americanism Solidarity Tuesday, March 29, the former Cuban President Fidel Castro denounced the "fascist war" waged by NATO against Libya, Muammar Gaddafi to resist calling for the "drowning in the mud ignominy. For his part, Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez said the next day that "Gaddafi [was] what he has to do: resist imperial aggression," adding that he still did not share "anything said or done "the Libyan leader.

"Chavez has a certain fascination with Gaddafi," said Barah Mikail. "Like him, he was surrounded by such a female guard official responsible for overseeing the Bolivarian revolution. They are also regularly encountered in the last decade. "The researcher invites relative, however, critics of the two dissenting voices, which are less supporters in Tripoli as a means to criticize the policies of the U.S.

. Matalon Vincent

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