only search

About Rhiannon Smith

Rhiannon Smith works to foster economic development as a trainer, researcher and translator in Tripoli.

Articles by Rhiannon Smith

This week’s front page editor

Constitutional conventions: best practice

Libya's Constituent Assembly: light at the end of the tunnel?

While the registration process for elections and an apparent political commitment to 'dialogue' represent tentative progress, there are still substantial obstacles to be overcome before the committee is formed, let alone the constitution drafted.

Political fault lines threaten Libya's stability

Deep rifts between Libya’s leaders have been laid bare and if they continue to grapple with one another instead of facing up to the country's profound challenges, these fault lines could swallow the country whole.

A complicated relationship: Libya, Syria and the international press

The decision whether to intervene militarily in Syria should not be dictated by non-information, nor should the success or failure of Libya's revolution (and NATO's role in it) be prematurely judged on the same basis.

Libya: the long road ahead

Not only has the state so far been unable to bring the militias under control, it has also not managed to repair roads, rebuild buildings, clean the streets or provide power to its citizens.

Women left behind as Libya's constitution-drafting moves forwards

The 60 candidates who are eventually elected must balance a huge range of competing issues and priorities in order to draft a document which the majority of Libyans will accept, and which will stand the test of time.

Battle for Tripoli: hope or despair?

These attacks have been both violent and destructive. But they are being interpreted by many as the death throes of militias who have suddenly realised that they are no longer wanted in Libya.

Libyans say no to militias

Protests were motivated by what has become a two-year-long struggle to force Libya's powerful militias to hand over the reins of military power to the state security forces. Thirty-one people died on June 8.


Clouds over Tripoli

Holding elections for the Constitutional Commission will be a step in the right direction but to stop this process being hijacked or derailed the state has to show some strength and follow through on their actions.

Libya's political isolation law: confusion and charade

How will this Political Isolation Law benefit Libya? The manner in which it was passed has set a precedent for rule by intimidation and has undermined Libya's transition towards democracy, justice and rule of law.

Attack on the French Embassy in Tripoli: what now for Libya?

Foreign companies and investors already unsure about returning to Libya will be further dissuaded by this targeting of a foreign embassy in the heart of Tripoli.

Libya's 'complicated relationship' with alcohol

Is the answer better law enforcement so Libyans are dissuaded from illegally consuming potentially poisoned alcohol, or should the Libyan government consider legalising alcohol so that those who choose to drink can do so safely?

Supply and demand: the paradox of private security companies in Libya

While many foreigners working in Libya are genuinely interested in helping the country move forward towards a more stable future, it seems very unlikely that this is the case for these western mercenaries.

Holding Libya hostage

By blackmailing the state and disrupting crucial legislative work, protesters are doing more to harm to the aims of the revolution than probably even the most diehard Gaddafi supporter could manage at this moment in time.

'Good news' doesn't sell

There was much hype about Libya's deteriorating security situation. However anyone who experienced the celebrations in Libya this year would have been hard placed to match these descriptions to the reality. Martyrs' Square itself was incredible.

Libya 2013: A tale of two revolutions

A year ago it was easy to draw a line between those who were for the revolution and those who were against it. Twelve months later and that line has been rubbed out and redrawn so many times.

Birthday with a Bang: celebrating Mawlid in Libya

Young men seem to take particular delight in lighting fireworks and throwing them from their car windows at unsuspecting passersby.

Vigilantes or superheroes: tackling drugs in Tripoli

Libyans want stability. They want to live in a clean, safe, free society where rule of law and justice is paramount. However given the turmoil of the past few years and the weakness of the government, opinion is clearly divided over the best way to ensure such a society can blossom.

Libya taxi talk: experiences and expectations of democracy

Many are questioning why the congress appear to be doing nothing, while for their part parliamentarians seem reluctant to make the necessary decisions for fear of making the wrong ones.

The Syrian conflict through a Libyan lens

Libyans asked for assistance during the revolution and they received it: the Syrian opposition has been asking for international assistance for eighteen months yet has received little or no response.

Changing perception and building trust: why Libya is losing patience with its politicians

The GNC proposed moving to Bayda in order to avoid the deteriorating security situation in Tripoli when they should have been showing their strength and determination by trying to solve the root of the problem, notably the militias.

Anniversaries, rumour and conflict: a week to remember in Libya

A year on from Libya’s liberation many aspects of life have improved. The Libyan public, however, still needs to use their new found voice to stop the militias from hijacking their revolution, and call for peace and reconciliation instead of force and violence.

Normal life in Libya and the manipulation of facts

Now the inaction of the authorities is tarnishing Libya’s reputation worldwide and as a result, frustration on the streets is becoming palpable.

From revolutionaries to militia: the tables are turning against Libya’s ‘thuwar’

These armed men think, act and make demands on the basis that they are revolutionaries, yet there is no longer a revolution to be fought. Once the heroes of the story, they have now become the villains.

Libyans apologise for Benghazi attack and demand security and rule of law in Libya

People took to the streets of Tripoli and Benghazi on Wednesday night holding banners with messages such as ‘Chris Stevens was a friend to all Libyans’ and ‘Sorry people of America. This is not the behaviour of Islam or our prophet’. 

Traffic, trash and training: building Libya’s future

In Libya learning is by rote and independent thinking, problem solving and analytical approaches are nonexistent.

Tripoli one year on

This is a momentous occasion in Libyan history, yet read about Libya in the international media and you might find this hard to believe. Reports paint a picture of a country on the edge of the abyss, the new Iraq or Afghanistan.

Why Libyan elections bucked the Islamist trend

It is testimony to Libya’s determination to make their revolution count that the elections went as smoothly as they did.

Libyan elections, June 2012

Many Libyans are at a loss to know how to choose between different candidates based on photos and slogans alone, and are frustrated by the whole campaigning process.

Libyan resilience on a hot day in June

While Libyans are quietly proving that they can forgive, forget and move forward together, the current political and military powers in Libya seem intent on proving the opposite to the rest of the world.

Libya: a blurring of the post-conflict political landscape

If voters are unable to make an informed decision, due to lack of information concerning the candidate, the process or the role those elected will play, then they will either not vote, or vote but without feeling responsible or accountable for the vote they cast. 

Libya: the revolution was the easy part

For these young Libyans, to register and participate in the elections means acknowledging that their voices are no more important than anyone else’s.

Syndicate content