Last year, Libyan rebels finally won the war against Muammar Gaddafi’s supporters and, in the process, killed Gaddafi himself. The Europeans urged the US to intervene, and the US did so last minute.
Since then, things have not been running so smoothly. The latest troubles come from the new, corrupted Libyan government. Last year, after the war was over, the government announced that they would pay 4,000 Libyan dinars to rebel fighters that were married and 2,200 Libyan dinars to rebel fighters that were single.
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The purpose was to reward the fighters for their honor and bravery. Unfortunately, this system has been taken advantage of and now people who didn’t fight or people that are even dead are getting a chunk of the money.
The National Transitional Council (NTC) said that they had paid out 1.8 billion Libyan dinars ($1.4 billion) in less than three months. This number includes the people that did not fight or were already dead.
“The corruption is too much,” NTC spokesman Mohammed al-Harizy told Reuters on Monday. “Some of the people on the lists aren’t even alive” (Reuters). Military councils were set up in different parts of the country to act as distributors of the funds for the ex-fighters.
The local units would go around and determine who was eligible or not and once the names of those who were eligible were written down, the list would be sent to the central bank. The central bank would then give the proper amount of funds to the same military officials who would then distribute the funds.
Unfortunately, there were people that were listed twice to get extra money from the government, as well as the names of those who did not qualify. The NTC has said they will be launching a full investigation of the military councils and possible corruption within the government as well.
The bad thing about overthrowing a dictator is that it creates a complete vacuum, case in point, Egypt. This is especially true in a country like Libya, which had no strong institution or leader besides Qaddafi. This is exactly the environment which breeds terrorism.
The weak and corrupt Government does not have the resources to fight the terrorists. As soon as the terrorists take over the country, which they currently control large parts of, the situation only could get worse. They can use it as a launching point for attacks against Western troops in the Middle East or even Western citizens abroad. Thousands of Advanced shoulder to air missiles which can take down airlines, have gone missing. Many are now in the hands of terrorist organizations.
Unfortunately, Al Qaeda claims they are regaining strength primarily in Africa, which is where Libya is located. It will be interesting to see if Al Qaeda takes advantage of the new, weak government and uses the country as a stepping stone to regain influence in the Middle East.