Muammar Gaddafi Killed: Dead Body Photos Released
Libyans take pictures of Mo'tassim Gaddafi's body. REUTERS/Saad Shalash

Libya's National Transitional Council might have successfully ousted Gaddafi following months of a conflict which culminated with the former leader's death, but in Syria, activists were still in the streets protesting against Assad, while Egypt and Tunisia are still reeling from the fall of their former dictatorship.

News of Gaddafi's death rocked the international community, giving Libyans hopes of a better future and parallels with Syria were quickly drawn.

While Western leaders rapidly issued statements following Gaddafi's death, Arab and African leaders have been much more discreet, proving the NTC still has to work hard at establishing strong relationships with other non-western regimes.

With Tunisia expected to host the first elections since Ben Ali's fall this week-end, Egypt rocked by protests against the Supreme Military Council, demonstrators in Yemen still calling for Saleh to step down and Assad of Syria remaining defiant, the new Libyan leaders will have to fit in the Arab world's mix of new and old political landscape.

The rapid fall of the Ben Ali and Mubarak regime in Tunisia and Egypt shook the Arab world, and for many, the uprising against Gaddafi was a direct consequence of the Arab's spring 'revolutionary wind', so with the former Libyan dictator out of the picture, many expect the Syrian regime to be the next regime to fall.

Syria, Libya and Egypt however are very different countries, and while Assad is still strongly supported by and still controls the military, Gaddafi was in a different situation.

Fearing a military rebellion against him, during his years in power, Gaddafi maintained a weak army, divided along sectarian lines despite accumulating a large military arsenal. In Egypt the Mubarak regime was supported but then ousted by the military, now in charge of the country, while Assad, in contrast still beneficiates from the large support of his troops, even though tales of desertion have started to emerge.

In Yemen President Saleh who just recovered from an assassination attempt, recently announced he would consider stepping down but demanded reassurances his safety would be assured. With Gaddafi dead Saleh might be even more willing to finally keep his promise, before his country also spirals into a civil war.

Tunisia, meanwhile, is set to be the most plausible contender in successfully implementing a transition to liberal democracy.

Despite years of oppression by the regime and widespread corruption among the government, the country still enjoyed relatively high levels of education, a large middle class, an apolitical military, a moderate Islamist movement and a strong united sense of national identity.

While Ben Ali championed secularism, the country will on Sunday have to face questions regarding the place of Islam, in the new political and judicial landscape as tensions between secularist and Islamic tendencies are mounting.

Months after the revolution, in both Egypt and Tunisia popular discontent surrounding issues such as unemployment, lack of civil liberties and social justice is still important, and many have already said they feel disillusioned.

In Egypt, tensions between civilians and soldiers emerged after the military and the security forces fired live ammunitions at the crowds during the initial protests, and while Mubarak is out, many of his old advisers are still in command and protesters have complained there has been too little change.

Distrust against the ruling council grew further recently, after the regime was accused of encouraging attacks on a group of Christian Coptic, who had been demonstrating peaceful to ask for more rights and representation.

Libya's main challenge on the other hand is that with Gaddafi, the army collapsed and the political and judicial institutions were always very weak. After months of conflict, the country looks more like the façade of a state than anything else, so the NTC and the new future transitional government will have to work hard at reconstructing the country.

So while analysts say that the fall of Gaddafi might encourage activists in Yemen and Syria, in Libya the new government has to be inclusive of the different tribes, religious and political tendencies if it wants to avoid the backlash of the Egyptian military council, now accused to have been involved in a 'coup' rather than in the 'revolution'.

Also, while western leaders have showed their support, it is not yet clear if the NTC will enjoy similar relationships with other Arab leaders and its ties to the west might make some governments suspicious.

It is however worth noting that Gaddafi fell out with various Arab regimes, and many Shia Muslims across the Arab world were angered at the expulsion of more than 30,000 Palestinians from Libya in protest of peace negotiations between Israel and the PLO.

He also once famously denounced King Abdullah of Saudi "as a British product and American ally," concluding by calling him a "liar," adding when a Sheikh tried to quiet him, he said, "I am an international leader, the dean of Arab rulers, the king of kings of Africa and imam of Muslims, and my international status does not allow me to descend to a lower level."

The Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Ramin Mehmanparast, also congratulated the Libyan nation on Muammar Gaddafi's death and said that the Libyan strongman's downfall is the realization of' divine promises.'

Furthermore, tensions are set to rise between Libya and Algeria, with sources saying the NTC is set to call for Algiers to deport the Gaddafi family and hand them to the Libyan authorities.

The reputation of the NTC in Africa has also been tarnished by allegations that NTC fighters have repeatedly illegally imprisoned sub-Saharan African workers who they mistakenly thought were mercenaries.

Also while the NTC is openly pro-West, Gaddafi based his image around the championing of pan-Africanist discourse, despite fuelling rebellions in countries such as Liberia and Sierra Leone while also supporting Uganda's infamous dictator Idi Amin.

Gaddafi also enjoyed a close friendship with Uganda's current president Yoweri Musevini, but South Africa's president Jacob Zuma seemed less impressed by the former dictator saying "The AU will work better now without his [Gaddafi's] delaying it and with some members no longer feeling as intimidated by him as they did."

Gaddafi's death is however set to affect the African union, which only allowed the NTC to officially join in after the death of Gaddafi.

Throughout the years Gaddafi supported the organisation financially and widely promoted the idea of African Unity, calling for a common currency and an African army.

While Gaddafi's death will primordially impact on Libya, the new government will also have to deal with an Arab world in ebullition and an African continent that still needs to be convinced the new regime will try to fit in the continental context.