SEPOCTNOV
19
201020112012
186 captures
22 Aug 2011 - 27 Nov 2020
About this capture
AFRICA
13 September 2011 Last updated at 13:28 ET
Libya conflict: Q&A
Libya Crisis
In pictures: Sirte battle
Vying for power
Where is Gaddafi?
Profile: Sirte
After storming the centre of Tripoli on 21 August, the forces that toppled Col Muammar Gaddafi are trying to find the fugitive former leader and take control of a few last strongholds. Meanwhile, interim leaders are moving from Benghazi to the capital and turning their attention to running the country as it emerges from nearly 42 years of Col Gaddafi's rule.

Why did the rebels want to oust Col Gaddafi?
He ruled Libya with an iron fist since he seized power in a 1969 coup. Students were forced to study his political theories, as set out in his Green Book. Political parties were banned and his critics imprisoned, tortured and on some occasions killed. After the overthrow of the leaders of Libya's neighbours, Tunisia and Egypt, some Libyans staged protests to demand change. But Col Gaddafi's government used overwhelming force against the demonstrators in Tripoli and then started to move on the second city, Benghazi, where the rebels had seized control.
Why did other countries intervene?
It was feared that an assault on Benghazi, a city of a million people, would be brutal. Over the years, Col Gaddafi had fallen out with both his neighbours and the West, although he had bankrolled many African leaders. The Arab League asked the United Nations to intervene to protect the civilians in Benghazi. In March, the UN Security Council passed a resolution which authorised "all necessary measures" - except troops on the ground - to enforce a no-fly zone and protect civilians. Nato planes then started bombing government forces, who retreated from the outskirts of Benghazi.
So was Nato backing the rebels?
Nato officials strongly deny that they acted as the "opposition's air force" or even that they had direct contact with them. However, reporters with the rebels noted that the pro-Gaddafi forces in front of rebel positions would often be bombed, making the opposition advance much easier. Since the storming of Tripoli, the UK has confirmed that Nato is providing "intelligence and reconnaissance" to help the rebels track down Col Gaddafi. Earlier, the French admitted giving weapons to the rebels, while other countries have provided training and logistical support to the rebels, who are mostly civilians. Both Western and Arab leaders openly said they wanted Col Gaddafi to go.
Why did it take so long?
It took five months after the Nato air strikes began before rebel forces entered Tripoli. Col Gaddafi's forces were a real army with heavy weapons, while the rebels were mostly untrained civilians who had managed to get hold of some light arms such as AK-47s. It took a while for the bombing campaign to significantly reduce the government's military advantage and for the rebels to be organised into a proper fighting force. In the end, they advanced on Tripoli from three fronts, surrounding the coastal city, where they were met by jubilant crowds. Many were surprised at how little resistance they met outside the capital.
What happens next?
The first task will be to find Col Gaddafi, who has been indicted for crimes against humanity by the International Criminal Court over his forces' suppression of the initial uprising. His whereabouts are unknown; rumours abound, including speculation that he might be trying to flee south to another African country. Until he is caught, there is the possibility his loyalists could continue to use guerrilla tactics to destabilise the anti-Gaddafi forces as they try to establish themselves in power. The National Transitional Council (NTC) has been moving from the eastern city of Benghazi as it tries to assert its authority. But it faces a challenge reining in different military groups and limiting rivalries between potentially competing interests and allegiances. Without the unifying goal of ousting Col Gaddafi, there are fears that interim authorities could start arguing among themselves. The NTC wants a national congress elected within eight months, and multi-party polls in 2013. Meanwhile, the new rulers have to try to improve the lives of ordinary Libyans and avoid the post-revolution disillusionment seen in Egypt and Tunisia. To do this they will need money.
Where will the funds come from?
The rebels' National Transitional Council's (NTC) says it is seeking $2.5bn (£1.5bn) in immediate aid. An estimated $53bn of assets were frozen during the conflict - but it can take time for them to be unfrozen. A UN sanctions committee has agreed to release $500m of frozen assets to humanitarian agencies. But South Africa, which led the African initiative to find a diplomatic solution to the Libyan conflict, has blocked releasing a further $1bn, saying it wants to wait for guidance from the African Union. Col Gaddafi was one of the main founders of the AU - which has not yet recognised the rebel leadership as Libya's legitimate authority - and its key financial backer. South Africa cannot block the unfreezing of the rest of Libyan assets indefinitely, as it has no veto at the UN Security Council. The Arab League, however, has now given its full backing to the NTC, which may lead to more countries offering aid.
More on This Story
Libya Crisis
Features and Analysis
In pictures: Sirte battle
Images from the Libyan city of Sirte, where transitional government forces have been battling Gaddafi loyalists.
Vying for power
Where is Gaddafi?
Profile: Sirte
Hunt for Gaddafi
Pain resurfaces
Chaotic fighting
Loyalists sit tight in Sirte
Islamists keen to engage
Migrant backlash
Painting Gaddafi
The final phase?
After Gaddafi
Jalil: Crowd pleaser
Waiting for the oil to flow
Quest for justice
Gaddafi: African asylum seeker?
Where are the weapons?
Conflict images
'Mass killing' sites
Islamists among rebels?
Profiles & Maps
The Gaddafi story
Gaddafi's co-accused by the ICC
Profile: Saif al-Islam Gaddafi
Gaddafi family tree
Key figures in rebel council
Profile: Mustafa Abdul Jalil
Guides
Coalition firepower
Gaddafi's bolt-hole
Where do Nato countries stand?
Where is al-Qaeda?
How war is being funded
Share this page
More Africa stories
French woman held in Somalia dies
A 66-year-old French woman kidnapped from Kenya by Somali gunmen has died, say French officials.
Botswana call to change gay laws
Africa 'set to grow 5% in 2011'
Top stories
Greece MPs back austerity plans
Ohio police hunt escaped animals
Carla Bruni 'gives birth to girl'
Army chief warns US over Pakistan
New clashes at Chile mass protest
Features & Analysis
Tumbleweedville
Why the sun set on an American town called Empire
Is America illegal?
Lawyers debate the Declaration of Independence
Damned lies and statistics
Can official accounts of Mexico drugs war's death toll be trusted?
24 hours of news
Striking photos from around the world
Most Popular
Shared
Read
Ohio police hunt escaped animals
Viking boat burial find 'a first'
Is America built on a lie?
Carla Bruni 'gives birth to girl'
IQ 'can change in teenage years'
Army chief warns US over Pakistan
'Broadband giant' heads skyward
In pictures: Exotic animals escape Ohio game reserve
French woman held in Somalia dies
Greece MPs back austerity plans
Video/Audio
Elsewhere on BBC News
New chapter
Why South Korean students are being told to scrap their textbooks and go digital
Programmes
HARDtalk
US President Bush was 'not told the truth' about waterboarding, says a former FBI agent
Services
News feeds
Mobile
Podcasts
Alerts
E-mail news
About BBC News
Editors' blog
BBC College of Journalism
News sources
World Service Trust
Mobile
About the BBC
BBC Help
Contact Us
Accessibility Help
Terms of Use
Careers
Privacy & Cookies
Advertise With Us
Ad Choices
BBC © 2011 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.
HomeUS & CanadaLatin AmericaUKAfricaAsia-PacEuropeMid-EastSouth AsiaBusinessHealthSci/EnvironmentTechEntertainmentVideo
DeliciousDiggFacebookredditStumbleUponTwitterEmailPrint
NewsSportWeatherTravelTVRadioMore