Five months after NATO began operations in Libya, it looks as though former leader Muammar Gaddafi is on his way out.
After months of warfare, rebel fighters have advanced to Tripoli, the capital of Libya, and are fighting Gaddafi loyalists in an attempt to topple the controversial leader.
Libyans have already begun to celebrate in the streets of Tripoli and abroad, but with the likelihood of rebels seizing Tripoli critical questions are arising as to what will happen if the Gaddafi regime does fall. In particular, commentators are questioning whether a peaceful transition will be able to ensue in a politically divided nation.
In a statement to The Christian Post from Fadel Lamen, the president of the American-Libyan Council, Lamen agreed with the media coverage and international leaders that suggest that the Gaddafi regime will be toppled and stated, “Yes, I think more or less we saw the fall of the Gaddafi regime.”
Lamen continued saying that the only questions that remain uncertain about Gaddafi are: When will he be captured? Where will he be captured? When will he be tried for ICC crimes against humanity? And will he die in the process of being captured?
Nevertheless, Lamen is certain that the rebel advancement this weekend has marked the end of the Gaddafi regime and he told CP, “As far as the regime, Gaddafi is gone.”
When asked by CP about the potentiality of a peaceful transition to democracy in Libya, Lamen responded that the Transitional National Council (TNC) has already put together a road map for the process, but argues that like any democratic transition challenges will be a readily available.
Lamen stated, “Of course there will be challenges to this process they (the TNC) will have to provide services, restore chaos, and provide the necessary economic stimulus for the economy to restore itself; and these are major challenges.”
Nevertheless, Lamen was optimistic about the TNC’s ability to overcome these challenges stating, “I believe that they will be able to, and I think that a transition to democracy is possible.”
Lamen’s optimism stems from the fact that he believes Libyans are yearning for democracy and freedom following nearly 42-years of Gaddafi’s rule. Lamen hopes that Libyans will use their years suffering as a motive to seize the moment of Gaddafi's fall to establish a free and fair democratic state.
The international community, like the TNC, is also preparing for a post-Gaddafi Libya.
Following Sunday’s rebel advancement, the NATO alliance working on Libya has authorized planning for a post-Gaddafi Libya and has arranged for “day-after” talks to be held in Dubai in the upcoming week that will include the United States, Britain, Jordan, and the United Arab Emirates.
With Gaddafi’s fall, which is becoming a more imminent reality by the second, commentators are saying it must be remembered that peace and reconciliation will need to remain one of the most central aspects to talks and negotiations in order to spare Libya a bloodstained democratic transition that so many other countries before it have faced.