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A SPECIAL SECTION:  Haiti, Since the January 12, 2010 Earthquake
                                                         
Posted August 23, 2011
                                       
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Leaders of the Libyan Rebellion

The Libyan rebels fighting to topple Col. Muammar el-Qaddafi are led by longtime opponents of the Qaddafi government as well as officials who defected once the rebellion began. The Benghazi-based National Transitional Council came together in late February as the official opposition body. Below are some of the main figures in the council leadership.

Mahmoud Jibril

Head of government

Has been abroad during most of the rebellion trying to persuade foreign leaders to recognize the rebel council. Was head of the National Economic Development Board under Qaddafi before defecting at the beginning of the rebellion.

Mustafa Abdel-Jalil

Chairman of the National Transitional Council

Has been the leader of the rebel council since it was formed in February. Was Minister of Justice under Qaddafi until he resigned after violence was used against protesters.

Abdel Hafidh Ghoga

Vice Chairman of the National Transitional Council

A leader and spokesman for the rebel council since it was formed. Was a prominent Benghazi lawyer who was involved with representing families of prisoners killed at Tripoliís Abu Salim prison.

Ali Tarhouni

Finance minister

Has been managing the rebel governmentís finances. Exiled since 1974 for political activism. Was an economics lecturer at the University of Washington before he returned to Libya in February.

Fathi Terbil

National Transitional Council member

Has been involved in organizing the rebellion since it started. Is listed as representing youth on the council. His arrest by security forces sparked the initial protests. He legally represented the families of prisoners killed in Qaddafi prisons.

Khalifa Hifter

Senior commander of rebel troops

Was living in exile in the United States. Returned to Libya after the uprising started and began a public rivalry with General Younes by appointing himself field commander. Popular among rebel fighters as a hero of the Chad war.

Gen. Abdul Fattah Younes

Former military commander, killed July 28

The rebellionís top military commander through most of the uprising. Was killed under murky circumstances after being summoned to Benghazi by rebel leaders. Was interior minister and a friend of Colonel Qaddafi before defecting. His death revealed divisions within the rebel forces.

Ali al-Essawi

Executive branch deputy

Has assisted Mr. Jibril with foreign relations. Was an ambassador and a cabinet official under Colonel Qaddafi. He was among a group that summoned General Younes to Benghazi before he was killed. Some lawyers and judges have called for an investigation into his role in General Younesís arrest.


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