Libya rebel leaders say they're in charge. Not so fast, say some in Tripoli.
If an interim government fails to take firm control very soon, Libya could face a power vacuum in which disparate armed groups fight for control of the oil-rich country.
One of the key problems is a division between the eastern rebels, based in Benghazi, and the western rebels who led the assault on Tripoli that broke Qaddafi's hold on the country.
Benghazi and Tripoli have long been regional rivals, and were played against each other by Qaddafi. Even if the NTC were to appoint a temporary government tomorrow, some in Tripoli say they won’t accept ministers chosen by the Benghazi leaders.
“We think the government should be formed by someone from Tripoli, or at least from the western part of the country," says Mohammed Omeish, the coordinator for the Coalition of February 17, an umbrella organization for opposition groups in the capital. "It would be a good way for the NTC to show that it is serious about national unity and that it is not Benghazi that’s running the show.”
A list of 40 NTC members, which has not been circulated previously for security reasons, shows at least five members from Tripoli, along with five from Benghazi. But some of those who represent Tripoli have lived abroad for decades, which may not be received well by Tripoli residents.
NTC chairman Mustafa Abdel Jalil said in a recent press conference that the current council, which includes 42 members, would grow to 80 members once all areas of Libya come under opposition control. Qaddafi forces still control some areas of Libya, including the cities of of Sirte and Sabha.