Catch more Libyans with sugar than with gunfire

Tripoli, Libya. (Abdel Meguid al-Fergany/Associated Press)

Around the world it seems that there are few who have not heard about the latest wave of protests going on in Africa, the most recent being the widely covered being in Egypt. The latest wave of protests have come to the Libyan front, where citizens have been fueling a need for freedom and asserting their displeasure with the high unemployment problem as well as their support for the Libyan people, not for Gadhafi. The Central Intelligence Agency estimates about one-third of Libyans are currently living in poverty despite being an oil-rich country.

However, Gadhafi, the current leader of Libya, is not willing to budge. He even went so far as to vow that the only way that he would step down from his position would be to die “a martyr” in his country and according to CNN, he blames the unrest on “rats” who are “agents” of foreign intelligence services and that people found to be cooperating with said services will be executed. Human Rights Watch stated earlier this week that at least 233 people have been killed during the unrest from random open fire by Libyan forces.

It seems that although Gadhafi has vowed to stand strong in his position, he has still lost support in a large portion of eastern Libya. Even the Interior Minister, Abdul Fattah Younis al Abidi, has resigned, aligning his support with the Libyan people’s revolt. It is becoming clearer daily that the brand that Gadhafi has created for Libya and for himself is one that is being morphed by the people into a whole new concept. The current brand associated with Gadhafi’s politics is that of regime and repression, including an iron fist on outgoing communications within the country.

We will have to stay tuned to see if Gadhafi steps down, and takes with him his regimented governmental identity and/or what new identity that the Libyans will create for themselves with or without his leadership in the future.

-Heather Cornman

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