The Libyan rebels insist they want one state, with Tripoli as its capital, but as the fighting drags on, Benghazi is starting to look an awful lot like the capital of a separate state, with its own government and even its own oil business, the Washington Post observes. “We don’t like it, we don’t want it, but this scenario might happen,” says the rebels’ head of international affairs.
So far the government has managed to keep the police force and hospitals running, and some businesses are slowly reopening. They’re currently drafting a new constitution, with help from the US and Europe. But starting a nation in eastern Libya won’t be easy, because the region has been badly neglected throughout Moammar Gadhafi’s reign. “The whole of Libya is living in the Middle Ages, but especially the east,” said one opposition spokeswoman.