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Chatham House on Libya

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Middle East and North Africa Programme Publications & Comment

Recent commentary and resources on developments in Libya from the Chatham House Middle East and North Africa Programme:   

Chatham House on Libya

What might a post-Gaddafi government look like? 

As the rebels come closer to securing Tripoli, Jane Kinninmont considers what form a post-Gaddafi government might take for The Guardian.

"At present, the Transitional National Council is united by one overriding aim: to depose Muammar Gaddafi. There has been striking unity around this aim despite Gaddafi's own effort s to offer a deal that would involve him remaining in office while giving up some power. In other Arab countries, such as Bahrain and Morocco, opposition movements have been divided over whether to accept reforms or push for deeper change. In Libya, the opposition has been clear that very radical change is being sought..."

Libya Working Group report: Policy options for transition

This report is a summary of discussions that took place at a Chatham House Libya Working Group meeting last week, on 18 August 2011. At a historic moment in Libya?s future the high-level group of policymakers, journalists, opposition figures and academics met to discuss the ongoing conflict, challenges of the transition, and questions of social and economic reconstruction.
Key points that emerged from the meeting included: 

Following Gaddafi?s exit there will have to be immediate re-engagement with the police in Tripoli to help bring about the restoration of civilian order. It seems there are already good communications in place to allow this to happen.

In the immediate post-conflict period there will be an urgent need to establish a process to collect weapons, as large sections of the civilian population will be left with arms. It is possible that financial incentives may be necessary for this process.

In order to restore the provision of basic services to the population the tactics currently being u sed by the rebels to pressure Tripoli ? such as cutting off supplies ? will need to be quickly reversed.

A key aspect of reconstruction will be the return of skilled expatriate and diaspora Libyans. The National Transitional Council (NTC) should consider explicitly inviting people back to help with reconstruction efforts. 

Further Resources 

Libya's rebel government in waiting has proved it can rule the whole country | The Telegraph | August 2011

The TNC have shown themselves able to run Benghazi and other liberated areas in very difficult wartime circumstances, writes Oliver Miles. Why should th ey not do the same throughout the country? 

An Iraq repeat can be avoided | The Mirror | August 2011
The new authorities will not repeat the mistake made in Iraq of destroying old institutions, writes MENA Programme Associate Fellow Richard Dalton.  

Libya's future: Towards transition | Libya Working Group Report | May 2011
This reports considers the NATO-led operation, prospects for a ceasefire, energy and resource supplies and the role of humanitarian agencies. 

About the Libya Working Group
The Chatham House Libya Working Group, established in February 2011 and convened by Richard Dalton, aims to identify, analyse and discuss scenarios for political transition, state building and economic reconstruction in Libya. The group enables timely discussion and analysis which is responsive to the dynamic situation, providing a forum for the sharing of expertise and the debate of new ideas. < /p>
We are currently seeking funding to enable us to continue the working group beyond its first three successful meetings.

For further information on our Libya or MENA programme work, please feel free to contact Helen Twist on or Kate Nevens on


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