Old and new challenges confronting Sirte’s resurrection
Sudarsan Raghavan has written an article for the Washington Post looking at the Libyan city of Sirte in the wake of its occupation by ISIS and its struggle to resurrect itself. While no longer under the control of the jihadists Sirte remains devoid of a fully functioning police force, courts, and several public services such as rubbish collection. Raghavan details some of the city’s challenges linked not only to its immediate present but its not too distant past:
Deepening the resentment in Sirte are a plunging economy and rising prices. The fragile U.N.-backed government, one of three contesting for influence in the country, is struggling even to pay its own employees’ salaries. “We have been forgotten,” said Mustafa Ali, a local aid worker whose home was destroyed.
There is also a sense that their neglect owes as much to Libya’s divisive past. This is the hometown of the late dictator Moammar Gaddafi, and many local tribes were his staunch loyalists. That history has marginalized the population, said residents and local officials.
The militias who control Sirte are from Misrata, among the first to revolt against Gaddafi in the 2011 Arab Spring uprisings. These militias remain suspicious, accusing many here of collaborating with the Islamic State extremists.
Click here to read the full article.