Fresh chance for Libyan people

21 October 2011

Fresh chance for Libyan people

SP Member of Parliament Harry van Bommel describes himself as ‘relieved’ that with the fall of Gadhafi the war in Libya appears to be at an end. ‘I congratulate the Libyan people on getting rid of the Gadhafi regime,’ he says. ‘Libya can now begin a new chapter in its history. It is unfortunate that Gadhafi was killed, which makes it impossible for him to be brought to court and for us to find out more about his domestic and foreign policies and all of those who have cooperated with him. It’s of the utmost importance that a day of reckoning between old adversaries be avoided and that things are done according to the rule of law, and that the international war doesn’t continue in the form of a civil war or tribal conflict. That danger has certainly not passed. The EU and the UN must offer support to the development of sound democratic government and the rule of law.'

Harry van BommelIn Van Bommel’s view the coming year will be important for Libya, which must show that the transition to a new Libya can be achieved without violence or vengeance and in a spirit of unity. “The National Transitional Council is under enormous pressure to make good on what has been demanded since the spring but which it cannot achieve on its own. Rapprochement with the past with the help of the rule of law is what is needed. It goes without saying that the important sources of support for the regime and especially for Gadhafi himself must answer to the courts.”

Libyan society will need to be thoroughly reorganised in the years to come. Political freedom is extremely important, but in addition the self-determination of the Libyan people with regard to their oil supplies is crucial. The West should not lay any claim to the country’s raw materials and the Libyan people must be given the opportunity to choose and develop their own course. “The importance of the change in Libya goes beyond Libya alone,” says Van Bommel. “It also affects other Arab countries and the course of the entire Arab reform movement. The changes in Libya can give other peoples who are fighting to establish democracy in their countries courage to maintain their struggles.”

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