The Arab Spring brought to North Africa a sense of pride, hope, and renewed engagement with the West, nowhere more so than in Tripoli, the Libyan capital, where nightly celebrations in Martyrs’ Square draw thousands, and the flag of a free Libya waves from passing cars.
But there are many serious challenges before the country can capitalize on its hard won gains. The legitimacy of the National Transitional Council may be tested by its ability to prevent reprisal attacks on foreign workers and to marshal international support for the country’s reconstruction. Failure on these fronts would invite attacks on its credibility and could widen the fragile coalition’s fissures.
This project follows the efforts of Libya's new leaders to disarm and integrate the disparate bands of fighters now in Tripoli’s streets, and its willingness to account for the thousands of guest workers whose fate is still unknown.