libyan war for oil.pngDisorder and confusion continues to rock Libya since the overthrow of Muammar Gaddafi with latest reports showing that the National Transitional Council is not in control.

Following a declaration of autonomy by tribal and militia leaders in oil-rich eastern Libya, the head of the Tripoli-based National Transitional Council (NTC) has threatened the use of force to prevent the country’s partition along regional lines.

Nearly five months after the death of Libya’s former leader, Colonel Muammar Gaddafi, and NATO’s declaration of victory in its war for regime change, the confrontation between Tripoli and Benghazi, the eastern city where the autonomy decision was taken, raises the specter of civil war.

The move to create an autonomous government based in Benghazi is part of a broader fracturing of Libya along regional lines.

Over 100 separate tribal and city-based militias – the forces which NATO backed with arms, advisers and aerial bombardments in the war to overthrow Gaddafi – control much of the country.

The NTC, while installed by the US and NATO as the official government, has proven incapable of exerting its control even over the capital, Tripoli, where the main airport and major government buildings remain under militia control.

Meanwhile, analysts say the involvement of NATO in arming militia groups is meant to cause confusion and disorder in the oil rich nation for the benefit of the US and its western allies.