Gaddafi Dead: Revenge Attacks; Could Loyalists 'Strike Again?'

In the wake of Muammar Gaddafi’s death and overthrowing of his violent regime, revenge attacks have occurred both from and against loyalists.

In a report by Reuters, villagers from al-Jemel, a small town about 75 miles southwest of Tripoli, said former rebel militias assaulted and killed at least four men believed to be associated with Gaddafi’s loyalists. Many more are reported missing, possibly taken for interrogation.

Al Koni Salem Mohammed, the uncle of one of the four dead young men, said his nephew’s body was desecrated, left outside a detention facility missing its tongue and privates.

“If this does not stop there will be a reaction. Any build-up of pressure leads to an explosion…There is a lot of anger,” Mohammed told Reuters.

Aggression has not been limited to steadfast, confirmed loyalists, however.

The Human Rights Watch has accused militias from Misrata, a coastal city of “terrorizing” denizens of nearby Tawarga for even perceived cooperation with Gaddafi’s forces before the dictator’s death.

So is this the classic case of minor chaos that ensues whenever a tyrant is deposed? Or is this more telling of potential security risks for the NTC and Libya in general?

Contributing to the unruliness are over 30 regional brigades still armed with weaponry from the siege on the former establishment, and so far, the National Transitional Council, Libya’s ruling party, has not disarmed them.

The NTC had asked NATO to stay in the country until the end of 2011. NATO could assist in tracking down loyalists to prevent them from organizing and causing more damage to the public image of Libya’s infrastructure.

They declined. Last week Thursday, Anders Fogh Rasmussen, general secretary of NATO, said that the organization would continue to help with the complicated transition to democracy, but wouldn’t aid with, “any tasks beyond that,” according to the Sunday Business Post.

Without NATO or the UN, whose Security Council voted to end military presence in the small country last week, uncertainty surrounds the ability of the NTC to lead Libya to peace and eventually, prosperity.

Ali Mohamed, a former soldier for the regime, said, “This is not a revolution, this is chaos…If there is no stability and security, people will turn against the council.”

For Libya, which has never had an official constitution or authorized court system, the change will undoubtedly be difficult.