Thursday, February 24, 2011

Libya: Loyal to the tribe, not to the regime

How these demonstrators in Tripoli, many soldiers turn now to the regime Gaddafi, the soldiers in the revolutionary leader Jabal Akhdhar do not serve more apparent. On the Internet a hastily staged statement is disseminated. The video shows an officer in dress uniform on a bare floor. He is served quickly or a microphone, he read out his statement: "We are the commanding officers of the military in Jabal Akhdhar and surrounding regions.

We declare that we join the youth movement and have assumed the command of the people to maintain peace, security and the public interest ... May God protect us. "A civilian with a rifle next to him raised his hand to the victory sign. Jabal Akhdhar is the province in the east of Libya, where about the city of Al Baida is - a stronghold of resistance against the Gaddafi regime.

That desert is there that the soldiers, is therefore not surprising. There are increasing reports that this part of the country is now controlled by the regime's opponents. Not only there to run the dictator of them soldiers. Two fighter planes of its air force landed in Malta on Monday.

The pilots said they had evaded the command to fire on demonstrators. On Wednesday morning was also a total of two ships with soldiers deserting the speech, which had also taken courses in Malta. Florence Gaub from the Middle East Department of the NATO Defence College in Rome, a research organization of the Alliance shows little surprised by these developments.

"Under the surface bubbles in the Libyan armed forces enormously over the past ten or fifteen years," says the scientist. Although the regime, as in other Arab states have also tried to establish ethnically mixed units to insure the loyalty of the soldiers. But there were indications that members were from strains that were acceptable to the revolutionary leader, preferably in promotion.

"This has led to frustration in the military, the pair are now with political discontent," says Gaub. It considers especially younger officers than to the regime unreliable. "They have less to lose and are not as strongly influenced by the ideology of the regime dominated," says military sociologist.

She has another explanation for that tribal loyalties are stronger today than loyalty to the regime: "Libya for several years, the units can not rotate around the country. It's just better if the soldiers are used to their hometowns. "Some reports also raised doubts about the loyalty of the army leadership.

So shall Gaddafi have been the beginning of week his army chief, Brigadier General Abu Bakr Yunis Jabir under house arrest, because that stood on the side of de demonstrators. The general, born in 1940, was educated at the Military Academy in Benghazi. He visited with the young Gaddafi same class and belonged to the "Confederation of Free Officers", which on 1 September 1969 by King Idris in a bloodless coup collapsed and brought Gaddafi to power.

With its Wutrede of Tuesday afternoon, however, Gaddafi has made clear he will not stretch out of the weapons. Even the staging was bursting with self-assertion. Thus, the dictator was in the destroyed barracks Bab el Asisija in the capital Tripoli. American fighter planes had bombed Qaddafi's headquarters in 1986, whose remains he has since used as a memorial and scenery - and now perhaps also as a fortress.

The dictator, however, has made provisions: Gaddafi commanded nor well-equipped praetorian guards. The security apparatus is difficult to understand, intersected by parallel structures. As in the whole country Gaddafi followed here the principle to control his subjects by chaos and uncertainty.

In the nineties, the Libyan authorities, the loyal towards him, "Revolutionary Guards" (Haris Liwa al Jamahiriya) set up, whom he trusted more than his army, which is half conscripts. It should be hand-picked soldiers from the Gaddafa strain of the dictator, who allegedly controlled the keys to the ammunition depots and spending only as much of the regular armed forces, as necessary.

According to a study by the renowned military expert Anthony Cordesman of the CSIS research organization in Washington is about 3,000 men who have Russian-designed tanks, armored vehicles and surface to air missiles. The Gaddafi's sons Mutasim, Saadi Khamis and command armed units. "The less familiar a ruler to his soldiers, the more it builds up a complicated system of parallel and competing security structures.

This is especially true for Gaddafi, "says Florence Gaub by the NATO Defence College. This system included in addition to the regular armed forces and the Revolutionary Guard, the People's Militia, a reserve force of 40,000 men, in the case of an attack should be mobilized from outside the defense.

1972 Gaddafi also presented on an Islamic Legion, who wanted to realize his dream of a great Islamic state in the Sahel. It consisted of mercenaries, the Gaddafi in Sudan, Mali, Chad, Tunisia and Egypt recruited. 1981 are also thousands of Pakistanis have been recruited with the (not kept promises), they would get civilian jobs later in Libya.

The legionnaires were mainly used in Chad, where she met the Aouzou strip in the occupied north. After being expelled from there in 1987, Gaddafi should have dissolved the Legion. Certainly it's not do that. The Research Institute CSIS in Washington speculates in a study published in July 2010 that the Legion would continue to exist with 2,500 men.

It will therefore consist of an armored unit, infantry and paramilitary special forces. Perhaps these are the "African mercenaries," which currently is always the question. The retired Libyan ambassador to India, Ali Al Essawi told the television station Al Jazeera on Monday, black African mercenaries had caused massacre.

It circulated for days, reports that "mercenaries" were flown in specially from stumbling Gaddafi regime. On the Internet eyewitnesses, their tormentors would have spoken French and came from Chad. Perhaps it is also about African refugees and laborers. These were tolerated by the regime and were unpopular even in times of peace in the population because they made the Libyans competition in the competitive job market.

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