Libya’s Muammar Gaddafi remains in power despite resistance, sanctions
Egypt's Jasmine Revolution recently sparked a series of similar protests throughout the Middle East and Africa. Some of the most violent have occurred in the north African country of Libya, where dictator Muammar Gaddafi remains in power. Even though activists have seized many of the nation's cities, the capital, Tripoli, and the leader's hometown of Sirt are still in his control, according to McClatchy Newspapers.
The Libyan People's Army, which is composed of the rebels, has succeeded in liberating the eastern half of the country but believe that Gaddafi's army may still be too powerful to defeat completely. Currently, ranks, weapons and other items are all being sorted out as the movement becomes more stabilized.
When asked by a female reporter why the People's Army had stopped before marching onto the capital, one special forces commander quipped, "Lady, we just formed an army three days ago."
Meanwhile, Gaddafi has specially trained brigades that are heavily armed, in addition to mercenaries he has hired to quell the rebellion.
Many soldiers are now gathered in Bengazhi, the country's second-largest city after Tripoli. There is a worry that, without a proper government in place, chaos may ensue. There have been efforts to instate a legislative body that will provide the framework for the new government.
"The people need order. We have a body that will give us order," said Dr. Abdullah Sumeia, who is advising the 13-member Benghazi governing council, the news source reports.
Gaddafi has been in power for 41 years. Some speculate that the reason for his extensive and often brutal rule is the demand that many countries have for Libya's oil reserves, according to CommodityOnline.com. European nations were major recipients of Libyan oil for decades.
Several countries are now taking steps to condemn Gaddafi. The U.S. has frozen all of the dictator's assets and the European Union has recently approved widespread sanctions against Libya, according to Forbes magazine.