Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in D:\siti\eposweb.org\eposweb.org\libraries\joomla\filter\filterinput.php on line 512

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in D:\siti\eposweb.org\eposweb.org\libraries\joomla\filter\filterinput.php on line 514

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in D:\siti\eposweb.org\eposweb.org\libraries\joomla\filter\filterinput.php on line 512

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in D:\siti\eposweb.org\eposweb.org\libraries\joomla\filter\filterinput.php on line 514

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in D:\siti\eposweb.org\eposweb.org\libraries\joomla\filter\filterinput.php on line 512

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in D:\siti\eposweb.org\eposweb.org\libraries\joomla\filter\filterinput.php on line 514
What hopes for the future of Libya? epos_print_logo.png
Warning: Creating default object from empty value in D:\siti\eposweb.org\eposweb.org\components\com_k2\models\item.php on line 445

What hopes for the future of Libya?

 
Wednesday, 26 September 2012 22:41
 
Rate this item
(0 votes)

Epos converses with Professor Karim Mezran

by Nicolamaria Coppola (EPOS)
EPOS Conversations

As a distinguished Libyan-Italian scholar, Dr. Karim Mezran brings enormous depth of understanding to the processes of change in Libya and elsewhere in the region. His analyses on the Middle East and North Africa have been widely published in Italian and other language journals and publications. He recently published a book on Libya in Italian, entitled "Libia: fine o rinascita di una nazione?". In this exclusive interview for EPOS, Professor Mezran talks about Libya after the election of Mahmoud Jibril, focusing on the processes of change in the country and on the situation in the region of Cyrenaica. He also analyses the issue of tribalism in this north-African State and gives a personal opinion about the future of the country.

Nicolamaria Coppola - Mahmoud Jibril, Libya's former interim Prime Minister, has won a landslide victory in the country's first democratic elections. The Muslim Brotherhood has come second: Jibril's victory bucks the trend for post-Arab Spring elections which have seen Islamist parties win power in neighbouring Egypt and Tunisia. According to your opinion, can Jibril's election be considered a structural political and social change that will benefit Libyans?

Karim Mezran - No, not necesarily. Jibril’s is not a cohesive political party but a highly fragmented coalition. It includes many different personalities as well as ideological visions. Jibril has banked on his popularity as the first Prime Minister of the NTC. Whether this popularity will be coupled with the capacity to lead the country remains to be seen. It is too early still to understand completely the results of the elections and write an analysis of its consequences.

Nicolamaria Coppola - What is the country's economic situation at the moment? What important role will oil play in re-launching Libya in international relations? How fundamental might it be?

Karim Mezran - Oil can definitely be an asset because it provides the resources that the country needs to rebuild its infrastructure, reconstruct practically from scratch its economy, and provide food and salary to its population. It will also allow the country to acquire a status and a function in international relations that it would not have without it. Nevertheless, as we all know very well, oil is also a curse because it fosters dependency, corruption, and nepotism. In other words, it fosters a patronage system that is what Libyans had under the monarchy and even more under the Qaddafi regime. This is a risk to be avoided at any cost.

Nicolamaria Coppola - Libya is often described as a tribal country: is it really a Nation divided into different indipendent tribes who are fighting each other?

Karim Mezran - No, the issue of tribalism is overstated and overestimated. In the past 20 years, Libya has undertaken a 70% rate of urbanization. This fact has diluted the importance and the influence of the tribes of origin and the control/influence that these exercise on its members. Some importance undoubtedly still remains in the interior regions of Libya and in the rural areas. But even this should not be overemphasized.

Nicolamaria Coppola - What is the political culture in the region of the Cyrenaica and what is the current situation over there?

Karim Mezran - It is probably the more conservative of the Libyan regions and the Sufi sect of the Sanussiyyah still exercises some influence along with some more extremist Islamist organizations. Nevertheless, the enthusiasm and the emphasis shown by the vast majority of the population of Cyrenaica towards the revolution and the reconstruction of Libyan national institutions shows an attention to the future and to the building of new institutions. The movement for the request of a federal system has been definitely overstated by the press and by the international media. Proof is that the appeal of the movement for a boycott of the national elections has gone practically unheard and the vast majority of the population of Cyrenaica exercises their rights to vote.

Nicolamaria Coppola - How do you foresee the future of Libya?

Karim Mezran - With the successful undertaking of the elections, a major step towards the right direction has been made but the attention of the Libyan people and of the international community should not be distracted because there still are many problems to be resolved. Most important of which are the lack of security, rising criminality, the fragmentation of power, and the failing physical and economic infrastructure of the country. The way in which the new Libyan institution will tackle and resolve them will say if democracy is the future of Libya or if the country will fall back into another authoritarian regime.

________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

DISCLAIMER: The views expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect EPOS WorldView’s editorial policy

Last modified on Tuesday, 05 April 2016 09:32

Latest from

Related items (by tag)

back to top