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Thursday, November 24, 2011

Libya's New Government for 2012

November 24, 2011

On November 22, 2011, a new government of Libya, with new ministers who will matter in coming months, was announced by the Interim NTC. Hurriyet Daily News, English edition, is the one source I'll draw on for now.

Libya names new government, ‘Gadhafi hunters’ get key posts
Compiled from AFP and Reuters stories by the Daily News staff.
Wednesday, November 23, 2011
The National Transitional Council gave the new government its vote of confidence, NTC vice chairman and official spokesman Abdel Hafiz Ghoga said.

“This provisional government aims to achieve the following: first security, stability and restoration of normal life by providing basic social services, the return of children to their schools and the payment of (overdue) salaries,” an NTC statement said.

That's a tacit admission it was their ill-advised takeover effort, in tandem with European imperialists, that had all these things interrupted so thoroughly and devastatingly, for months on end. Only once the new program was accepted-something Libya fiercely resisted-would operation be allowed to resume.

What makes this new form of government acceptable is sure to twinkle through in spots as we look at who it has appointed to keep the faith into 2012, the first full year of its thousand-year rule.
In a symbolic step for Libya, a deeply conservative Muslim society, the cabinet included two women, heading the ministries of health and social affairs. El-Keib said those appointments showed women enjoyed more equality than ever before.
Then it won't look too good when, in this deeply conservative society that just had their al Qaeda-type elements brought to power nationwide, these ladies ushering in "a new liberal order" are killed by "the people" who insist their black-flag-waving voice really be heard.
Foreign diplomats had been expecting the foreign minister’s job to go to Libya’s deputy envoy to the United Nations, Ibrahim Dabbashi. A respected diplomat, he had rallied other Libyan officials to turn against Gadhafi soon after the revolt erupted against his rule. Instead, the job was given to Ashour Bin Hayal, Libya’s envoy to Canada under the Gadhafi regime who joined the opposition in the 1990s.
I like to imagine the transparency of his conspiratorial designs in mid-February, in tandem with more trasparent yet early defector Nouri al-Mesmari, might have something to do with his usefulness being outlived. But neither did the job go to Dabbashi's boss, Libya's ambassador to the UN Abdulrahman Shalgham, who started out with cold feet as his deputy ran miles ahead and talked the world into declaring full-scale war on the government they had both served.
Lawyer Fethi Tarbel, whose brief arrest on Feb. 15 was the spark that lit the popular uprising against Gadhafi’s regime in the eastern city of Benghazi, was named minister of youth and sport.
He really knows how to get a game going. I'm covering him separately.
Abdelrahman bin Yazza, a former official at Italy’s energy major ENI, becomes interim oil and gas minister. Ali Tarhouni, a U.S. academic who returned from exile to manage the oil and finance portfolios in the rebellion against Gadhafi, had no role in the new government.
The privatization fanatic from Seatlle, Ali Tarhouni, is blessedly out. His replacement is probably worse, however, in some other way. I don't know anything about bin Yazza just yet.

The post of Minister of Defense, the leader of the nation's external military (count-down to a new war with Chad...) went to "Osama Juwali, commander of the Zintan fighters who arrested Seif," and perhaps of the Zintan fighters who recently shot the hell out of Tripoli hospital and killed a few people trying to settle a blood feud with some Misrata fighters. Perhaps friends with the early Zintan rebels who broke the finger off of, tore open the cheek of, and sliced the nose off a Libyan Internal Security man, before killing him, and called him a mercenary from Chad.

The Zintani wasn't appointed to head the Interior Ministry, who have always operated Internal Security. "[T]he interior ministry went to Fawzi Abdelali from the former rebel town of Misrata, whose fighters captured Gadhafi in October," as well as who oversaw the "un-sanctioned" torture, murder, and public display of the formerleader, as well as his son Mutassim (see On the "Gaddafi's Dead!!!" Party). The Misratans, or Misrottens, at large also oversaw epic war crimes of revenge like the siege of Sirte, the massacres following on it, and the purge of Tawergha.

Finally, Hurriyet reported that someone called "Kib," apparently meaning current interim Prime Minister Abdurrahim El-Keib. He will head the government as continuing Prime Minister, which includes an interesting set of posts,  one of which I'm curious to see how it's filled:
Kib will head a 24-member government which will include such portfolios as the ministry of martyrs, wounded and missing people, and a ministry of civilian society.
My own imaginative reading of that is the de-facto overseer of the blaming of rebel atrocities - quite epic it seems - on Gaddafi's defenseless legacy. It will require control of who corpses get identified as, what "family members" can be found to swear to it, and which other disappeared loyalists and African workers they can just let themselves shrug their shoulders at. "Ask his loyalist commander, who probably killed him,"they can simply say. He's probably long dead and missing too.

PM el-Keib was quite reassuring, however, assuring us he could assure us of this basic fact:
 “I can reassure everyone: all of Libya is (represented) in the new government.” 
Even the hundreds of thousands, perhaps a million or more total, who were still showing massive support for Gaddafi nationwide just a few months ago, and the millions who probably sympathize with them nationwide but were too pinned-down by rebel checkpoints or NATO drones, or too dead to join in? How are they represented?

Thankfully, the loss of some prominent faces of acceptable Libyan governance didn't sufficiently shake European support.
A spokeswoman for the European Union’s foreign policy chief, Catherine Ashton, said after the Cabinet was named that the EU was “confident that the interim leadership now in place will enable the country to embark on the political transition ahead.”


  1. Wikipedia page for National Transitional Council, including interim government, will no doubt be kept scrupulously up-to-date.

  2. Hey have you seen this? Libyan Liberation Front


  3. Libya Herald, Umar Khan, May 8 2012: Armed protestors try to storm Prime Minister’s headquarters; 1 killed
    One security official was killed and four others injured when armed protestors tried to force their way inside the Prime Minister’s offices on Tuesday morning. The official killed was a member of the the Interior Ministry’s Supreme Security Committee (SSC). He has been named as Ali Meilood Al-Gaoud. He was part of the forces who had been sent by the Ministry of Interior to guard the PM’s office building and the surrounding after the protests were reported.....The fighting started when a group of men, mainly from Yefren and Kikla, staged a protest on the non-payment of the promised revolutionaries’ cash handout by the government...

  4. TRIPOLI, May 10 (Reuters) – Libya’s interim finance minister said on Thursday he would resign soon because of “wastage of public funds”, citing a now-halted scheme to compensate former fighters and pressure from them for payment.

    “I will resign. I can’t keep working in these circumstances,” Hassan Ziglam told Reuters in an interview. “There is a wastage of public money because nobody fears God.”

    When asked when he would hand in his resignation, he said “soon”, but did not elaborate.

    Libya last month halted a scheme to pay compensation to people who fought in last year’s revolt against Muammar Gaddafi because it was riddled with corruption and paying out cash to people who did not qualify.

    A spokesman for the ruling National Transitional Council said at the time that a list of those eligible under the scheme – which paid out 1.8 billion Libyan dinars ($1.4 billion) in less than three months – included people who were dead or who had never fought.

    1. Thanks Sam...continues...
      The payment for former fighters is not the only scheme to have been halted. Earlier this year, the government cancelled a programme meant to provide free overseas medical care for the uprising's wounded after it turned out to be riddled with fraud too.

      In that case, the government discovered it was picking up the air fares, medical and hotel bills of people who had simply obtained faked documents saying they were wounded.

      If you can fake that, you could have faked death certificates too.


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