Analysis

Libya: Turmoil Persists But With A Glimmer of Hope
Libyan protesters jump on a car during clashes in the eastern city of Benghazi on March 16 between backers and opponents of autonomy for eastern Libya that killed one person and wounded at least five. (ABDULLAH DOMA/AFP/Getty Images)
March 21, 2012
| Security
| Middle East and North Africa
Summary
When residents of eastern Libya declared "semi-autonomy" earlier this month and announced they planned to separate themselves from the rest of the population, it appeared that the oil-rich country once held together by the brutal strength of Muammar Qadaffi was breaking apart at the seams. Volatility persists after Qadaffi’s fall, it's true, but Libya’s future is not without hope, as LIGNET explains.

If history is any guide, the odds are against the emergence of a working democracy in Libya. By their very nature revolutions create chaos, which in turn usually leads to a dictatorial strong man who emerges to restore order. This pattern could repeat itself in Libya, but the Arab Spring has changed conditions on the ground throughout the region. Authoritarian regimes are no longer tolerated as they once were and this will make it more difficult for another Qadaffi to seize power.

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