As what might be the final battle rages in Libya, another is looming: the political battle to create a functioning democracy.
As Libyan rebels try to consolidate their military gains in Tripoli, the National Transitional Council in Benghazi is trying to activate plans for a political transition.
What role the United States will play in Libya's future isn't yet clear, but most believe it will be a major partner in an international effort.
Getting an interim government in place in Libya as soon as possible is critical, the U.S. State Department says. That government would lead the process of writing a constitution and getting to elections, the building blocks of democracy.
But international assistance will be necessary to put the other blocks in place.
By the CNN Wire Staff
The battle for Tripoli continued Tuesday, with the whereabouts of Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi still not known. Here are the latest developments.
– Mahmoud Jibril, a leader of the rebels' National Transitional Council, told reporters Tuesday that it was important to unify the country and begin a smooth transition immediately. "We're all Libyans and we're all sons of this nation," he said. "There is no need for any score settling."
– Jibril described rebels' entrance into Gadhafi's compound Tuesday as a significant symbolic step that "finalized" the rebels' victory, and he described Saif al-Islam Gadhafi's appearance at the Rixos Hotel as a "desperate," Hollywood-style "attempt to steal the revolution."
–Jibril said a meeting of international leaders Wednesday would focus on organizing aid for Libya. The meeting will include officials from the NTC, the United States, the United Arab Emirates, Qatar, Italy, France, the United Kingdom and Turkey, he said. The aid money would go toward paying salaries for Libyans and covering medical treatment for those injured in the fighting, he said.
– Bullets were fired into Moammar Gadhafi's compound Tuesday evening, and Libyan rebels told CNN it was coming from Gadhafi forces. A CNN team had to evacuate the compound after bullets came shooting nearby. People began to run and flee the area. The events came hours after rebels seized control of the compound.
By CNN Wires Staff
Syrian dissidents have formed a national council to lead the opposition to Bashar al-Assad's regime, opposition members meeting in Istanbul, Turkey, said Tuesday.
This appears to be one of several opposition movements and parties claiming to represent the Syrian opposition inside and outside Syria.
Their goal is to have 120 members, 60 exiles and 60 activists from inside Syria and they aim to announce the names on the council in 15 days.
The group has denounced the al-Assad regime. They are inviting representatives of all ethnic and sectarian communities to join them.