The new Libyan government now has a chance to try to end the violence and begin the rebuilding of Libya’s shattered cities and villages. But the challenges ahead will be extraordinarily difficult. Tribal divisions, encouraged by Qaddafi’s cynical rule, will not be easily resolved. Restarting oil production, opening up the Mediterranean ports, and rushing humanitarian aid to the displaced will be immediate priorities.
Above all, creating jobs for the young unemployed who were the heart of the rebel alliance will be an immediate priority, as will be disarming the loose alliance of militias that defeated Qaddafi.
The international community must now act quickly to provide the essential outside support that will help to jumpstart the new government. Libya will need a supply of humanitarian goods, expanded trade credits, and longer-term economic assistance. It will benefit from political support as the new goverment works through a constitution, future elections, and internal reconciliation.
The United States, Europe, and key Asian countries must certainly help in a major way. But the Arab League should take the lead in rushing the immediate support the Libyan government will require to unite the country and turn it away from violence and toward reconstruction.