Libya's interim gov't gets more aid after UN ratification, challenges remain

Over the weekend, Libya saw more international aid flowing in to help its post-conflict rehabilitation following UN's ratification of the north African nation's legitimate seat at the General Assembly last Friday.

So far, the UN, India, Turkey and South Korea have provided aid to the country.

At the UN conference on Friday, the Security Council set up the UN Support Mission in Libya with a mandate to help the war-torn nation achieve a smooth transition, including drafting a new constitution, organizing elections and promoting national reconciliation.

It also adopted a resolution on removing all sanctions against Libya to further clearing up fund shortage obstacle on the road to its economic recovery.

Following the UN's lead in backing the National Transitional Council (NTC) to establish a democratic, independent and united Libya, the international community also offered aid in various forms to the nation.

India expressed on Saturday its willingness to extend all possible support for the NTC and the Libyan people in their political transition and rebuilding activities.

India has already given humanitarian assistance worth 1 million U.S. dollars through the UN to Libya and another 2 million dollars of aid is on the way.

To meet urgent needs of the Libyan people, Turkey on Saturday sent to Libya two military cargo planes loaded with 22 tons of food stuff worth over 112,000 dollars, according to a statement Turkish officials.

"We have learned that almost 10,000 people were stranded in Bani Walid region, and they need urgent food (aid)," the statement said, adding Turkey would continue to extend humanitarian aid to the country.

South Korea said Sunday that a Korean Air cargo plane carrying relief materials, including medicine, food and daily necessities, was sent to Libya.

South Korean authorities also declared that companies are ready to reopen business with the conflict-stricken country after its restoration of peace.

Amid fears of senior members of the NTC that Libya could be turned into a UN protectorate if foreign troops were allowed to enter the nation, UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon made his stance clear that assistance areas should be identified by the Libyan authorities.

Meanwhile, analysts warned that the NTC faces an arduous task in reconstruction as both short- and long-term challenges are enormous.

The NTC has reportedly mapped out a timetable for a constitutional assembly election to be followed by parliamentary and presidential elections and has worked on drafting a new constitution.

However, the young political entity would be tested in almost all aspects of the reconstruction. The six-month-old NTC lacks political experiences and its unity is still questionable.

Compared to its own shortages, the NTC would have to wrestle with stiff resistance of Muammar Gaddafi's remaining forces and to negotiate with local tribes who often have a say in the country's political arena.

Another challenge is the unbalanced economic structure left by the ousted leader, which relies heavily on oil. Libya's infrastructure, due to decades of economic sanctions and blockade imposed by Western countries, are in very poor shape.

To overcome these difficulties, the Libyan authorities definitely need to take painstaking efforts to strive for a peaceful, stable and prosperous Libya.

[Source: Xinhua, Tripoli, 18Sep11]

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