Victory hands new woes to Libya rebels

It is not clear if they can achieve this, but the implosion of Gadhafi’s authority in the capital — so far without a bloodbath — suggests its two million inhabitants are focused more on reconciliation than revenge.

The assault on Tripoli has been a stunning success. In many cases rebel fighters have simply walked into the capital without firing a shot. Much of that is due to a long-planned civilian revolt in parts of the capital that erupted on Saturday evening.

But the battle-hardened fighters flooding into Tripoli may become a liability for opposition leaders who will now want to channel the emotional rush of revolution into the more pedestrian work of reconstruction, analysts say.

Restoring public order would be helped by a spirit of reconciliation, not only between former Gadhafi loyalists and opponents, but also between disparate rebel forces who may now compete for the spoils of victory.

Unity ‘hard to predict’
Arab commentator Issandr El Amrani said it was unclear how much control the Benghazi-based National Transitional Council (NTC) “can really exert over what amounts to a large, diffuse coalition of anti-Gadhafi forces that — once the Brother Leader is killed, exiled or arrested — may have less common cause.

“There are a lot of light weapons in the hands of volunteer fighters in Libya, and like in any conflict, it’s hard to predict what they might end up doing with them in the coming transition,” he wrote.

The omens are mixed.
A faltering performance by the NTC could hurt the chances of a peaceful transition in which to resolve big issues such as forging a new constitution, rebuilding the economy and deciding what to do with Gadhafi, if he is captured. The council seems to be scrambling to keep up with events.

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