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Tuesday
Aug232011

Libya's New Leaders Have Their Work Cut Out for Them

Dan Kitwood/Getty Images(TRIPOLI, Libya) -- Post-Gadhafi Libya is most likely going to experience some growing pains.

However, analysts familiar with Libya and the region are expressing optimism that once the rebels can claim total victory, the transition from dictatorship to democracy could go more smoothly there than in Egypt and Tunisia, which overthrew their leaders earlier this year.

There are many obstacles to overcome, not the least of which are Libya's 140 tribes throughout the eastern and western parts of the country.  Getting them to unify will be a huge challenge for the Transitional National Council, the group that conducted the successful guerilla campaign against Gadhafi loyalists, with a major assist from NATO.

Another potential danger to unification are pockets of insurgents left behind who might conduct a low-level war against the new government, similar to what's been happening in Iraq for the past eight years.

Still, Libya could avoid the same trap as Iraq because the revolution happened without any foreign boots on the ground, and so their revolution would be viewed as more legitimate by the international community.

Another advantage is that the TNC has gained experience governing over the past six months while engaged in a vicious fight with government forces.  Those within the group include former Libyan Justice Minister Mustafa Abdul Jalil, who is the TNC chairman, and Finance Minister Ali Tarhouni, a former professor at the Foster School of Business at the University of Washington in Seattle.

The new government will also control Libya's rich oil supply, which immediately gives it better financial footing than the more heavily populated Egypt and Tunisia.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

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