Libya: Threat of civil war looms with militias

Libya drifts after ousting prime minister. McClatchy News Service. March 13, 2014. San Francisco Chronicle.

In the nearly three years since Libyans fought to end 42 years of often brutal and bizarre rule by Moammar Khadafy, the weak central government that replaced him has proved incapable of tackling the mounting problems. Now the nation is as fragile as it’s ever been since Khadafy’s ouster and death.

Armed militias have overrun the country, and they threaten to divide it along historical eastern and western parts, battling one another to assert dominance.

Militias retain control of the nation’s crucial oil facilities, through which they fund themselves.

Kidnappings and assassinations have surged. The targets have been government officials and civilians alike, as militias have taken control of larger swaths of the country.

Government officials fear speaking out about the militias and they concede that the militias’ hold has made it impossible for them to arrest those responsible for major attacks such as the September 2012 assault on the U.S. diplomatic outpost in Benghazi, which killed U.S. Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens and three other Americans

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