This paper is a summary of discussions that took place at a Chatham House Libya Working Group meeting on 18 August 2011.
At a historic moment in Libya’s future the group met to discuss policy options for transition, on the premise that the end game for Colonel Gaddafi’s regime was approaching. Discussion focused on three main areas: the ongoing conflict; challenges of the transition; and questions of social and economic reconstruction.
Key points that emerged from the meeting included:
Following Gaddafi’s exit there will have to be immediate reengagement with the police in Tripoli to help bring about the restoration of civilian order. It seems there are already good communications in place to allow this to happen.
In the immediate post-conflict period there will be an urgent need to establish a process to collect weapons, as large sections of the civilian population will be left with arms. It is possible that financial incentives may be necessary for this process.
In order to restore the provision of basic services to the population the tactics currently being used by the rebels to pressure Tripoli – such as cutting off supplies – will need to be quickly reversed.
A key aspect of reconstruction will be the return of skilled expatriate and diaspora Libyans. The National Transitional Council (NTC) should consider explicitly inviting people back to help with reconstruction efforts.