As Libya teeters on the brink of civil war Ian Black and Julian Borger examine the possible scenarios for the country
Ian Black and Julian Borger
guardian.co.uk, Monday 28 February 2011
"1 Divided country
It is possible the current situation could settle into a de facto division between a rump Libyan state around Tripoli and an eastern rebel movement that cannot take over the whole country.....
2 Gaddafi: fight or flight?
Muammar Gaddafi has said he will die a martyr in Libya rather than flee abroad. Military experts estimate he can count on 10,000 to 12,000 troops, as well as the regime's security services and foreign mercenaries....
3 Military intervention
....Possibly in anticipation of a future need to operate as a staging post for a multilateral military mission, Italy has suspended a two-year-old pact with the Gaddafi government that promised not to use "direct or indirect" military force against Libya, or allow Italian territory to be used "in any hostile act against Libya".
4 Power vacuum
There are concerns about a power vacuum developing if the regime is toppled or suddenly collapses. The Benghazi-based National Libyan Council, which insists it is not an interim government, is designed to fill that gap. But it is divided politically.
Two of its key leaders are high-level defectors from the regime: Abdel-Fatah Yunis al-Obeidi and Mustafa Abdel-Jalil were respectively Gaddafi's ministers of the interior and justice. Some analysts see a possible future unifying role for Abdel-Salam Jalloud, Gaddafi's former right-hand man, who is untainted by corruption. "Jalloud would be a steady pair of hands to steer the country through the troubled waters of the coming months," said Menas, a London-based consultancy...."