“This is Libya’s moment. This is Libya’s victory and the future belongs to you”, said the United States Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton on an unannounced visit to Tripoli, where she met with the Prime Minister of the NTC (National Transitional Council) Mahmud Djibril.
The two officials announced the creation of a joint committee to step up bilateral relations for the reconstruction of the country in months of conflict.
The US Administration, which pledges to unfreeze funds of the old regime, urged Libya to restore security conditions by destroying the weapons reserves, unifying the militias under national command and their integration in an inclusive government.
Clinton also assured that cooperation between Tripoli and Washington will be extended also to the health and education sectors to meet the expectations of the Libyan people.
Libyan officials are however concerned about Gaddafi’s eventual moves.
In an interview with the Asharq Al Awsat newspaper, Djibril expressed fears over a possible return of Gaddafi who is continuously moving between south Libya, north Niger and Algeria.
According to the NTC premier, based on information from the neighbouring nations, Gaddafi apparently has the backing of thousands of men with a “heavy military arsenal” and “significant financial means”, who are ready to enter Libya to destabilise the new regime or proclaim a separatist state in the south.
In the interview, Djibril refers to the recruiting of between 10 and 15,000 Sudanese mercenaries from Darfur and the al Rachayda tribe. Sources in Mali indicate the presence in the north of combatants loyal to Gaddafi, fleeing since August 23.
While in Tripoli there is talk of reconstruction, in Sirte, birth city of Gaddafi, the clashes have escalated in two areas where loyalists are resisting to the NTC offensive.
In regard to the situation in Bani Walid (170km south-east of Tripoli) there are contrasting versions: while the NTC forces are celebrating “total control” over the city, sources close to Gheddafi claim that they are “lies and media propaganda”, according to the Libyan Free Press.