It is the month of October and just a mere 7 years ago the death of a dictator was announced to the world……October 2011 during the Libyan Revolution the strongman Gaddafi lost his life to the rebels.
It is a good time to look back at the situation…..the revolution has been anything but a good thing for many Libyans……
The “triumph of the February 17th Revolution and the fall of the dictatorship” was initially greeted with euphoria, but this mood was not enough to prevent the country from falling apart. The victors, who had seized power with the support of NATO and an unlikely coalition of various armed groups, were unable to prevent the country’s descent into chaos. That coalition split apart in 2014, and the country has effectively been split in two ever since. There are now two opposed “territories”, one headed by Tripoli in the west of Libya, the other headed by Tobruk, in the east. Each has its own government, parliament and armed forces.
What is more, the capital, Tripoli, is controlled by four main armed groups, which, together, prop up the Government of National Accord, headed by Fayez al-Sarraj. Their official role is to guarantee security, serve as a police force, and guard the airport, government organisations and prisons etc. According to many experts in the region, these armed groups have built up an unprecedented level of control over both public and private organisations. They are involved in business and a wide range of illegal schemes: these include various forms of smuggling, especially of oil.
The Western powers acting as the rebel Libyan Air Force has rained down death and destruction on the Libyan people and allowed the groups like AQ and ISIS find a foot hold in the country…..and yet another civil war because of something the US and its allies did.
Nothing about the end of the revolution (whenever that is) will be good for the Libyan people. The US told the Western powers to involve themselves in Libya and now it is time for those same countries to heal what they broke.
As unpalatable as it may be, the United States should become more involved in one of the world’s most destabilizing conflicts.
We are talking about Libya. The North African country remains in turmoil with the effects of the conflict rippling through three continents, and no realistic prospect of a resolution soon. What is needed is a level of diplomatic engagement the U.S. alone can muster, and soon. Libya’s dysfunction will likely deepen the longer the conflict grinds on, and pose a serious threat to American interests in a critical, fragile region of the world.
Time for the US to do something good and right……help repair the country that we broke.