It was never going to be easy. Despite the jubilation in Libya at the toppling of Muammar Gaddafi last September, the overthrow of the dictator was only ever the end of the beginning. And so it is proving. While international attention has shifted to the bloodshed in Syria, the National Transitional Council in Tripoli has struggled either to bring to heel the hotchpotch of militias that made up Libya's rebel forces, or to satisfy the demands of a newly enfranchised citizenry, or to defuse tribal tensions stirred up by the revolution.
The latest upheavals are in Bani Walid, where Gaddafi loyalists seized control and hoisted the green flag of the ousted regime. Bani Walid may not be the first outbreak of violence, but it is the most significant – even more so as it comes against a backdrop of increasing popular protests. Gaddafi may be gone, but the upheavals in Libya are far from over.