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Long road ahead for Libya's reconstruction

10-25-2011 14:03 BJT Special Report: Libya’s Muammar Gaddafi dies |

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Libya's National Transitional Council (NTC) announced the country's liberation following the death of Muammar Gaddafi, amid mounting international demand for an investigation into the killing of the former strongman.

"We declare to the whole world that we have liberated our beloved country, with its cities, villages, hilltops, mountains, deserts and skies," said an official who opened the ceremony in Benghazi in front of tens of thousands of people.

The NTC promised to set up an interim government within a month, with elections for a national congress to take place in under eight months and parliamentary and presidential elections to be held within one year.

"The NTC faces huge challenges as to whether it can unite the country, which I greatly doubt. It's still too early to tell whether a national congress could be elected within eight months as the NTC stated," Li Guofu, the director for the Center of Middle East Studies under the China Institute for International Studies, told the Global Times.

Zhang Xiaodong, a professor with the Institute of West Asian and African Studies at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, echoed the sentiment, citing the example of setbacks in Egypt, which has delayed the process of transition after the ousting of Hosni Mubarak in February.

"There is a yawning security and political vacuum in Libya in which brewing political disputes, factionalism and security problems pose a serious risk of derailing or prolonging transition," Henry Wilkinson of Janusian security consultants in London told Reuters.

Meanwhile, international questions over the violent end to Gaddafi's life overshadowed the celebration of liberation.

"It was not the way we would have liked it to have happened. We would have liked to see Gaddafi going on trial, ideally at the International Criminal Court, to answer for his misdeeds," British Defense Secretary Philip Hammond told the BBC Sunday.

"The fledgling Libyan government will understand that its reputation in the international community is a little bit stained by what happened," Hammond said.

UN human rights chief Navi Pillay called for an investigation into the killing, which was backed by US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton Sunday, who said the new Libyan government needs to start with accountability.

In an interview with Al Jazeera, interim leader Mustafa Abdel Jalil said that the NTC is dealing with the subject transparently.

According to AFP, an autopsy was carried out Sunday on Gaddafi's body which confirmed that he died from a gunshot to the head.

Citing a coroner's medical report, the outgoing NTC prime minister, Mahmoud Jibril, said Sunday that Gaddafi was already wounded when he was found in a drain pipe.

An unnamed medical source told Reuters that Gaddafi had received multiple injuries, including bullets to the abdomen and brain.

Before the autopsy, the bodies of Gaddafi and his son, Mo'tassim, were put on display in a freezer at a shopping center in Misrata where hundreds of Libyans were allowed to view them.

Meanwhile, as the conflict winds down, investors are mulling the restart of business in resource-rich Libya.

Hammond told the BBC Sunday that British companies need to "pack their suitcases" and head there to secure reconstruction contracts.

According to the Guardian, oil company BP is believed to have already held talks with the NTC.

Such calls were also heard in China, which suffered estimated losses of $20 billion in projects invested in Libya during the upheaval.

According to the People's Daily, ZTE Corporation and Huawei were among the first batch of Chinese enterprises to return to Libya in September when the situation began to stabilize.

In an interview with Jeune Afrique on Tuesday, Lu Shaye, director-general of the Department of African Affairs of the Foreign Ministry, said that Gaddafi was no friend to China.

Li predicted that Chinese enterprises could soon return to Libya to resume projects, but stressed that the safety of Chinese workers should always remain the top priority.

"Generally speaking, eastern Libya is relatively safer than other parts of the country. Enterprises should start returning to that area without hesitation," Li told the Global Times.

Zhang warned that Chinese companies should prepare for more instability ahead in Libya.

"Before resuming work, these companies need to carry out studies on local security levels to avoid further losses," Wang said.



Editor:James |Source: CNTV

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