Libya Weighs Life After Gadhafi
LAURA SULLIVAN, HOST:
Libya's interim government says Moammar Gadhafi's son Saif al-Islam will be tried at home. Saif was the last wanted member of the ruling family when he was captured this weekend, one month after Gadhafi's death.
New York Times correspondent Clifford Krauss is on the line now from Tripoli. Thanks for joining us, Cliff.
CLIFFORD KRAUSS: Pleasure to be with you.
SULLIVAN: Yesterday, Saif al-Islam, Gadhafi's son and one-time heir apparent, was captured by revolutionary forces from the western mountain town of Zintan. What's the latest news out there?
KRAUSS: The authorities in Zintan are saying that they're not going to hand Saif Gadhafi over to central authorities until there is a working judiciary, and they will decide when there is a working judiciary. What is striking here is, is they are calling the shots.
SULLIVAN: And this capture comes almost on the one-month anniversary of Gadhafi's death. Which challenges does this transitional government face now?
KRAUSS: Unity, acceptance of its authority, the transitional council is self-appointed, is giving itself eight months to govern the country before a democratically elected government. But it has many, many hurdles to cross. The most essential one is forming a police force and an army and somehow disarming all of the disparate groups that semi-autonomously fought the war, bring them together under the authority of the central government.
SULLIVAN: What is life like for average Libyans right now?
KRAUSS: Well, Tripoli, where you have one-third of the population, there is still a sense of exhilaration. But it - there are disturbing elements of it when you don't have a working police force. There are still people shooting guns in the air. Outside of the capital, you are on a road, and every mile or so, there'll be a different brigade, a different revolutionary group, which is keeping order, supposedly. They are organized. They are friendly. You just begin to wonder how they can be coordinated.
SULLIVAN: What is Libya's economic future look like? Gadhafi was known for his outrageous wealth. Do investors want to invest in Libya?
KRAUSS: Well, at this point, everything depends on the political situation and stability. All is flowing once again. They're back up to about 40 percent of pre-war production. But the foreign oil companies don't want to send their expats back because of the security situation. That said, this is a country that should have a very bright future. It has a small population. It has some very well-educated and well-meaning young people. But it's a new country that does not have a national identity and national institutions.
SULLIVAN: That's Clifford Krauss, New York Times correspondent, joining us from Tripoli. Thanks so much, Clifford.
KRAUSS: My pleasure. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.