A public rally in favor of an autonomous Cyrenaica today in the region’s planned capital of Benghazi ended on a sour note when armed men from an unknown faction attacked the demonstrators, killing one and occupying Freedom Square.
They didn’t hold the square for long, being chased away shortly thereafter by a militia in favor of autonomy. The message however, was another clear indication that any attempts to establish autonomy will be resisted, violently.
This was the same message as Libyan NTC chairman Mustafa Jalil, the Western-backed ruler of Libya, who responded to the call for autonomy with a promise to unite the nation “with force.”
And the ouster of Moammar Gadhafi has definitely not united the country, with the same effort to form an autonomous Eastern Libya that sparked the anti-Gadhafi civil war likely to lead to another war, with the NTC this time trying to keep oil-rich Benghazi from breaking off.