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Muammar Gaddafi death five years ago a prompt for second thoughts?

October 20, 2016 - LIBYA

Libyan president Muammar Gaddafi died on Oct 20, 2011 at the hands of rebel forces during the Battle of Sirte. The fifth anniversary is likely to set off another round of second-guessing about the merits of toppling him.

Gaddafi's removal precipitated the fragmentation of the country and the 19 countries that helped Libyans oust him didn't return to help pick up the pieces. Going forward, Libya can expect more support.

Hopes were pinned on the new United Nations-backed Government of National Accord (GNA) which arrived in Tripoli in late March. The GNA's mission is to unify and secure the fragmented country, but chaos continues to reign in Libya, with two rival governments vying for power and battling for the country's oil assets.

One parliament and government, the General National Congress (GNC), which is controlled by Libya Dawn forces, is in Tripoli. Another government operates out of Tobruk, in the far east of the country. The GNA leaders must also persuade the estimated 1,700 militias that have carved out fiefdoms throughout the country to submit to the new government. The next task will be establishing enough stability to encourage investors to support Libya.

National lawlessness has put Libya's troubles high on the international agenda because it has allowed the Islamic State group to establish a base in Sirte, Gaddafi's former home town, as well as contributing to the refugee crisis in Europe. Tens of thousands of migrants from across Africa are using Libya as a staging point for a Mediterranean crossing to Italy and beyond.

Regrets of a Revolution? Libya After Qaddafi (PBS 29 Sep 2015)

UN launches new round of Libya peace talks (Al Jazeera 4 Sep 2015)

Four years after Gadhafi, is Libya better off? (Al-Monitor 20 Oct 2015)

Would Libya have been better off if Muammar Gaddafi had been captured? (28 Oct 2014)

Tripoli holds its breath as new Libya government seeks unity (BBC 18 Apr 2016)

Date written/update: 2016-05-26