Saturday, April 16, 2011

Rebel Leaders at a Glance

So, if you have any form of a life outside of your Xbox or latest reading material (that doesn't include the news), you've more than likely heard about all the uproar that's going on in Libya right now.  Up until recently, I've kept a "loose" eye on the situation in Africa, but haven't watched it closely.  I've decided it's time to get smart.  About the news, that is.  So, I did some research on the issue, specifically because everybody is talking about it, and I'd like to know what they're saying.

Through my research, I found that there are the Rebel forces who have disengaged themselves from their dictator leader Muammar Gaddafi, who has ruled the country for... well, a long long time.  Anyway, there are also the Gaddafi loyalists (basically, the only people left are his military, a force of about 20,000 troops).

I'd like to think that I'm doing some good by providing you with this brief information about the Libyan crisis, but I must admit that Time magazine does it best.  Here's what they have to say:  Control over a cluster of strategic oil towns seesawed between rebel fighters and troops loyal to Muammar GAddafi as the conflict bogged down into a smaller-scale war of attrition.  After the defections of key aides and generals, reports claimed that elements within the Gaddafi regime were in negotiation with European leaders over a possible cease-fire.  But Gaddafi's forces continued to shell the rebel-held city of Misratah, prompting rebel leaders to vent their frustration over NATO's perceived inaction."  Well said, don't you think?  So, I'm sure you're wondering exactly what I was after reading that.  Who are those rebel leaders?  Well, to answer your question, here are a few, with mini backgrounds provided by Time.

Ali al-Essawi:  Formerly ambassador to India, al-Essawi was one of the first prominent figures in the government to quit and join the opposition.  Since then, he's become the main foreign envoy of the rebels' Transitional National Council.
Mahmoud Gebril:  The acting Prime Minister, Gebril is a U.S.-educated academic who pushed for reform and privatization while serving as a technocrat in the Gaddafi regime.
Abdul Fatteh Younes:  One of Gaddafi's top-ranking generals and a former Interior Minister, Younes defected in February and has since spearheaded the rebel war effort.  His experience is invaluable, though some rebels resent his previous affiliation with the regime.
Khalifa Heftar:  A military commander who defected to the U.S. more than two decades ago, Heftar has returned to find himself pitted in a power struggle with Younes (mentioned above).
Mustafa Abdul Jalil:  The chairman of the TNC, Jalil is a religious conservative and a respected jurist.  He was formerly Justice Minister, in which capacity his efforts to clamp down on arbitrary arrests won the praise of foreign diplomats.  Jalil is one of the main architects of the rebel government.

Now, I hope you're a bit more educated on the who's and what's of the issue in Libya.  Keep reading for an article about the U.S.'s involvement in Libya.

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