A Libyan Transitional National Council official expressed hope on Friday that a new alliance, the Qatar-led Friends of Libya, would replace NATO in helping the Libyan authorities restore order in the country, Al Jazeera said.
Salwa El-Deghali, who is responsible for legal and women’s affairs in Libya, said Thursday’s announcement of the end of NATO’s mission in Libya came as a surprise for the Libyan leadership. The interim rulers have requested the alliance extend its operation for at least one more month.
NATO formally announced on Thursday that it would end its mission in Libya on October 31. The announcement came after the UN Security Council unanimously passed a resolution earlier in the day lifting the no-fly zone over Libya and therefore withdrawing its mandate for the alliance’s military operation.
A total of 13 countries, including the United States, France and Britain, have joined the new alliance headed by Qatar to support the Libyan authorities after the end of the NATO mission. Its creation was announced on Wednesday, during a meeting of military leadership of the countries involved in the NATO operation in the Qatari capital of Doha.
Some analysts have warned that Libyan unrest could be replaced by inter-tribal violence that would challenge the country’s unity after the death of dictator Muammar Gaddafi.
Gaddafi died after being captured by NTC fighters near his home town of Sirte last week.