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Libya Enters a New Era
Cover Stories Series 2011> Libya Enters a New Era
UPDATED: October 31, 2011 NO. 44 NOVEMBER 3, 2011
Aiming for a Good Start

Muammar Gaddafi, the former Libyan leader, died from fatal wounds on October 20, shortly after his capture by forces of the Libyan National Transitional Council (NTC). His death brought an end to the civil war that has been raging in the country over the past several months.

The news marks the beginning of a new era for Libya. With the departure of the man who ruled the country for over 40 years, many of us, naturally and sincerely, hope that peace and stability will be restored in the North African state. It is now imperative that the Libyan people enjoy the stability they need to begin rebuilding their country.

The fall of Gaddafi and his regime is widely perceived to be the result of his corruptive and tyrannical governance. It can be seen as yet another instance that corroborates the old Chinese saying, "He who wins the heart of the people will win the country as well." But this is only one side of the coin. Some people say Gaddafi's defeat simply represents a major victory for the Western world. Over the years the man has displeased the West on different occasions, by challenging its dominance in the world's political and economic arenas and by trying to develop advanced weaponry as a counterweight to its military superiority. To a large extent, it was these and other anti-Western deeds committed by Gaddafi that brought an end to his life and a destructive war to his nation. The NATO-assisted war not only brought down Gadaffi's government but also left over 30,000, mostly civilians, dead and 50,000 more injured.

The end of the civil war in Libya, however, is unlikely to bring lasting peace and democracy to the country. In fact, given the complex internal situation within Libya, many Chinese and international observers believe the path to stability will be long and arduous. The NTC must now confront a series of very stern challenges, including taking over the command of various factional or tribal military forces, drafting a new state constitution, and holding general elections to form a new and unified national government.

To meet those challenges, authorities in Libya should realize that the future of the country is now in their hands. And based on this premise, they must put the well-being of the nation above everything else and work in a more tolerant and constructive manner. The international community, too, should use all the resources at its disposal to help the country over this difficult period. Crucially, all the parties concerned must refrain from seeking selfish gains in the name of promoting the interest of the Libyan people or helping with the country's democratic process.

Ultimately, "a good beginning is half the battle," and the people of the world all wish Libya a good start as well as a peaceful future in the wake of the damaging civil war.

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