Benghazi Hopes to Trade Military Victory for Power

'Regionalism' Another Front in Libya's Power Struggle

The Islamists are preparing to fight the Gadhafi defectors and vice versa. We have rebel troops rounding up people on the basis of skin color and formerly allied tribes just flipping out on each other over differences of opinion. And that’s not even all that Libya is struggling with.

Now, reports are emerging of the growing problem of “regionalism,” an age old issue in a nation where all politics are local and, in the modern era, the ruler has usually favored one region over another.

Traditionally, Gadhafi favored Western Libya, with his hometown of Sirte and the capital of Tripoli reaping the benefits. Now, the rebel capital of Benghazi is hoping to use a military victory in the civil war as a justification for a major increase in their funding.

The first move would be relocating the National Oil Corporation’s headquarters to Benghazi, with the hope that it will mean more local control over the nation’s one viable export industry. Needless to say, such moves will not sit well with western cities, and will be another source of tension, just one of many.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is news editor of