While there was some confusion surrounding the long-term ambitions of the NTC initially, over time it became clear that they were only formed as an interim measure. In other words, they were the night watchman – waiting for the next government to take charge and finally make Libya the fair country that it never was in modern history.
The NTC publically announced a list of their goals, although it would be fair to say that the people of Libya had some other ideas on how the organization should be functioning. Here, we scrutinize some of the areas in which the Libyans felt that the NTC had to target in order to be a successful interim government.
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A fair trial for Saif Al-Gaddafi
While most of the world may have been concentrating on the fate of Muammar Gaddafi, Libyans had another man they wanted justice bringing to. It would be fair to say that Muammar’s son, Saif Al-Gaddafi, had hardly done himself any favors with the Libyan people, being the second most widely recognized person in the country. Additionally, he was accused of umpteen crimes against humanity in relation to the torture and killing of civilians.
Nevertheless, many were demanding that Al-Gaddafi was given a fair trial. While there were plenty of people citing revenge, it was claimed that a fair judicial process would be much more beneficial for the country. They didn’t want him extradited and didn’t want him tried in an area where a fair trial might not occur. The conclusion was that this trial was for the people of Libyan – who could finally experience the concept of accountability and how real justice works in the modern world.
To date, Al-Gaddafi is still detained.
To safeguard the country
Unsurprisingly, one of the other main aims set for the NTC was to make the country safer. They immediately attempted to collect all of the weapons that were appearing on the street – which had become increasingly more common due to the doubts that the people had in relation to their safety. In other words, they felt they needed weapons for their own safety.
Unfortunately, this was easier said than done. Even though the NTC did bring a much larger sense of stability to the country, there were a lot of confrontations as they started to “clean up” the streets.
Improve the cleanliness of the country
On the subject of “cleaning up” the country, another goal was to simply make it a much cleaner place to live. Considering the goals regarding safety and job security, one might be surprised to see this ambition making an appearance on this list. However, when one considers the mountains of trash that were prevalent on the streets of the country, it starts to become clear that normality could not resume if these levels continued.
Unfortunately, the NTC found it very difficult to improve the situation. In fact, during the early stages the problem actually worsened. They did try and address these issues with the appointment of local governments, but it would be fair to say that this was one goal that they found very difficult to satisfy.
Provide more job security
There was an occasion where the Zintan Brigade refused to hand Tripoli Airport back to the authorities, for the simple reason that their jobs were not guaranteed by doing so. This told the world one thing; job security was high on the agenda for the people of Libya.
One of the main reasons why the uprising began was because of the terrible unemployment rates that had burdened the country. For example, 30% of young people found themselves out of work, while 20% of the whole country was living in poverty. As such, this was another goal that simply could not be ignored for the NTC.
Making elections fair and free
Last, but probably one of the most important, was the people’s wish for fair elections. Considering the corruption that plagued the country for years, getting this right was absolutely paramount to the success of the NTC.
Fortunately, they appeared to be well on their way within days of announcing the elections. This was proven by the fact that 330,000 people registered within five days of being able to do so. The NTC ensured that voting could occur on the internet and while not all of the country has access to this, it was still a very good step in the right direction when compared to the previous regime.