Rebel-Held Libya Creates Interim Governing Council In eastern Libya, the Provisional Transitional National Council has announced it is the legitimate government of the country. But it is struggling to organize itself and exert authority. There are also splits within the rebel army as well.
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Rebel-Held Libya Creates Interim Governing Council

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Rebel-Held Libya Creates Interim Governing Council

Rebel-Held Libya Creates Interim Governing Council

Rebel-Held Libya Creates Interim Governing Council

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  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/134354385/134354302" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

In eastern Libya, the Provisional Transitional National Council has announced it is the legitimate government of the country. But it is struggling to organize itself and exert authority. There are also splits within the rebel army as well.

ARI SHAPIRO, Host:

This is MORNING EDITION from NPR News. I'm Ari Shapiro filling in for Steve Inskeep, who is in Cairo.

RENEE MONTAGNE, Host:

NPR's Lourdes Garcia-Navarro reports from the eastern city of Benghazi.

LOURDES GARCIA: On the second floor of the central courthouse in Benghazi, the spokeswoman for the Libyan Provisional Transitional Council, Iman Bugaighis, holds court with the international media that has converged on this sea-side city. This new government has an appointed head, a former justice minister under Gadhafi who resigned after the uprising, a foreign minister and a defense minister. And yesterday they issued their third communiqué.

IMAN BUGAIGHIS: Demands for the world community, this is to be a commission...

GARCIA: They are demanding that the international community halt the flow of arms to Gadhafi, that the oil revenue from the east be diverted into their coffers, and that humanitarian aid be delivered to those in need here. Bugaighis says it's only a matter of time until the regime in Tripoli falls. The council here has rejected a call by Tripoli to negotiate with Gadhafi.

BUGAIGHIS: We are not worried. Now we have it at individual level. Everybody knows that either us or him. It's personal issue now for everyone - after what the blood which has been shed, there is no return.

GARCIA: But despite the confident demeanor, this is a fledgling government that is struggling. In a room off the main corridor there is arguing.

(SOUNDBITE OF SHOUTING)

GARCIA: Idris el Sharif is supposed to be helping the committee with the humanitarian situation in Benghazi. But instead he found himself over the weekend in the town of Brega trying to resupply the rebel army, which is subsisting on candy bars and Twinkies at the front.

IDRIS EL SHARIF: (Foreign language spoken)

GARCIA: At a nearby military base, Major General Ahmed el-Ghatrani concurs. He's a defected Libyan army commander who is helping coordinate the fighting. He says the youth aren't taking direction from the army. Most have no idea what they're doing, he says.

AHMED EL: (Foreign language spoken)

GARCIA: Near Benghazi's central market, Hamza al-Farjani says Gadhafi will imprison or kill them all. He says he thinks things will be better under the rebel leadership. As he's speaking, another man begins to argue with him.

(SOUNDBITE OF CROSS-TALK)

GARCIA: Lourdes Garcia-Navarro, NPR News, Benghazi.

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