March 21, 2019

Protesters massacred in Libya as Gaddafi loses grip on power

I would just like to assure potrait sellers of 'me' all over Libya that your livelihood is safe. I intend to continue ruling even without the support of the people or the army.

Witnesses are claiming that Libyan security forces and other gunmen have opened fire on protesters in Benghazi and Tripoli with the death toll now in the hundreds.

Human Rights Watch says conservativley that at least 104 people have been killed in Libya since anti-government protests erupted on Wednesday, including 20 in Benghazi killed with machine guns.

There are no foreign media allowed in Libya, but protesters are ringing western media outlets with updates.

Witnesses are also reporting that Gaddafi’s forces are now only in control in the capital Triploi, but the rest of the countryside is in the hands of the protesters.

There are also reports of army units defecting to the protesters side, and that the protesters are also in possession of large quantities of weapons.

Over recent days Colonel Gaddafi’s personal battalions including some mercenaries have been prominent in subduing unrest but are now largely out of sight.

Thousands of people have been protesting against Colonel Muammar Gaddafi’s 42-year rule since last Wednesday. The countries on either side have seen their longtime leadership toppled by peoples revolutions.

Tunisian President Zine El Abidine Ben Ali went in January, and Egypt’s Hosni Mubarak was forced from power on 11 February.

While the witness reports have not been independently verified, the volume of them and the consistent message points to their authenticity.

Libyan media is reportedly celebrating the fact that Tripoli is still in government hands. Newswarped thinks if it has gone this far then the fall of the regime may be only days away.

If the army is wavering then there is no reason why the winds of change will not sweep through Libya as well.

Despite western media outlets labelling the protesters as ‘pro-democracy’ newswarped feels that this is more about change and ordinary people wanting a say in their lives.

What form of government replaces these authoritarian regimes is yet to be determined. What can be guaranteed is that the bloodshed is only just beginning. When a totalitarian regime is toppled there is a large power vacuum and suppressed ethnic and religious rivalries that often come to the fore.

Newswarped hopes that Tunisia, Egypt, Libya, Yemen and Bahrain will be exceptions to the rule.