Undertrained and Underfunded: Our Allies in Libya


So they are untrained, have no real leader, no plan on how to dislodge Qaddafi, and are chronically short on weapons and supplies. Now it appears that the anti-Qaddafi forces in eastern Libya are also running out of cash. From the Financial Times

Banks were short of local and foreign currency, said Ahmed el-Sharif, adding the asset freeze imposed on the Muammer Gaddafi regime was hurting its foes as well.

"When you get to the point of rationing liquidity, whether local or foreign currency, we are on the edge of a crisis," he said.

Power was being rationed in Benghazi, where many shops and businesses have been closed for almost two months. A fuel and cooking gas shortage was averted only with the arrival of supplies from Qatar.

"We are in a cash economy; all the cash is with the public," Mr Sharif said. "The banks will be empty in maybe two weeks."

The opposition has paid public sector salaries in areas it controls for February and March but will struggle to meet April's wage bill unless it can gain access to Libyan assets frozen offshore, he said. The monthly salaries for public sector workers in the east – 80-85 per cent of the region's labour market – is estimated at 250m dinars ($204m), he said.

And once again, Reuters reports, rebel leaders are attacking NATO for "its slow chain of command in ordering air strikes to protect civilians, saying the alliance was 'letting the people of Misrata die every day.'" No complaints, however, about Angelina Jolie's handling of the refugee crisis on Libya-Tunisia border.