Opponents and supporters of federalism clashed with knives, guns and rocks in the eastern Libyan city of Benghazi on Friday 16 March. The violence erupted after hundreds of people demonstrated in favor a political project aimed at dividing Libya into three autonomous regions.
That demonstration was one of several rallies that started after a conference of tribal and political leaders in Benghazi. The conference unilaterally declared Cyrenaica (Berqa in Arabic) an autonomous polity, polarizing public opinion and prompting fears that the country might split up. These developments seem to intensify the struggle for the future of Libyan governance.
Under these conditions, does federalism have a future?
With rumors abound that Mubarak will have to accept a US brokered deal to step down today (amid fresh waves of protests in Cairo), the situation in Egypt is developing so fast that accurate and constantly updated information is key to understanding the present and possible future of this Arab stalwart. What will this day bring to the streets of Cairo? More horrific violence or a sense of renewed resolve and purpose? Will Friday, 4 February 2011, mark the end of Mubarak’s three decade rule?
In addition to pointing you to resources we hold in the ISN Digital Library on Egypt in last week’s post (lots of interesting stuff analyzing the background to the current crisis), we’d like to give you a taster of what we’re monitoring here at the ISN for the newest information on the crisis as it unfolds, day by day, hour by hour.
The best way to stay up to date is to follow Twitter streams: Search for #Egypt or #Cairo to get a live stream of tweets relating to the protests or follow Al Jazeera’s twitter stream which is currently focused on this issue.