The West has recognised the Transitional National Council (TNC) as the legitimate government of Libya—but it is not supported by all opposition forces.
Recently forces in the city of Misrata refused to accept it, as have some of those advancing into Tripoli.
In the early stages of the uprising the council was dominated by local revolutionary commanders.
Tension built between them and the various defectors from the regime who came to Benghazi. Western leaders promoted the defectors as the West tried to gain leadership of the revolution.
Since Nato bombing started, the TNC has become dominated by the defectors, who are seen as people the West can “work with”.
TNC leader Mustafa Abdel Jalil was minister of justice in Gaddafi’s regime from 2007 to 2011. Last month he sacked the entire executive body after the head of its military forces was killed by other rebels.
Another leader, Khalifa Hifter, was a colonel in the Libyan army when it invaded Chad in 1980.
He spent more than 20 years living in Virginia, US— before suddenly appearing back in Libya early this year.