With reports streaming in of Col Gaddafi’s death, the struggle for Libya is drawing to a close. The Transitional Council has moved to Tripoli and has been in effective control for a number of months. This popular uprising, fuelled by social frustration and organised through social networks, was inspired by the general unrest within the Middle East (popularly known as the 'Arab Spring'). When the oppressive 'leader' was in power, it was relatively easy to articulate the cause and aspirations of the uprising, but now that he has gone, how will Libya react?
How long to get control?
The new Libyan Government has a short period of time to establish and demonstrate administrative competence. Recent interventionist operations would suggest this is approximately 100 days from the end of the conflict.
Already there have been reports of localised rebel factions fighting in the suburbs of Tripoli. Perhaps unsurprisingly, the differences between the groups have not had the opportunity to understand each other's agenda.
Members of the Libyan Transitional Council will need to demonstrate strong leadership, articulating a dynamic vision with a broad church framework, allowing the different parties to work together in order to build the political process of compromise and co-operation.
Into the abyss
If common ground cannot be established quickly, there is a very real danger that Libya will fall into a number of internal conflicts, perhaps eventually leading to a fragmentation of the state itself.
The numerous external interests should not be underestimated. Many countries have old or new alliances, agreements and lucrative contracts connected with the old Libyan Government and these interests will be closely scrutinised and jealously guarded in order to ensure continued revenue and influence.
Now the country can celebrate its liberation for an oppressive regime, but for a young political leadership, perhaps the real test and struggle lies ahead.