Libya: after Gaddafi



I. The triumph of democracy


March 19 is one year old since the beginning of the military intervention in Libya.

In mid-February 2011, protests began in the country against Muammar Gaddafi, who ruled Libya for four decades. They quickly escalated into armed clashes between supporters of Gaddafi and the opposition, who were then supported by the North Atlantic Alliance. Gaddafi was killed on October 20 2011.

The armed struggle lasted eight months and claimed tens of thousands of lives. Alan Jules wrote on this topic: “Until when will people remain silent with respect to the perverse and deadly dialectic of NATO and its“ protection of civilians ”? More than 2000 people died from the deadly bombardment of Sirte. When they began to bomb residential buildings, the death toll in Libya exceeded 63000 ”(source: "Russian folk line"). Currently, different media converge on the number of victims in 50.000 or so.

Oppositionists created the Transitional National Council, which currently rules Libya. However, "rules" - one can only say with a strong stretch, as about the Russian Provisional Government of the 1917 of the year.

A few quotes:

“22-year-old Ahmed doesn't go out without a gun. Before the uprising, he was an ordinary student. The war turned his life. He joined the rebels. Romance was quickly replaced by bloody reality. Ahmed participated in the overthrow of Muammar Gaddafi, but now he is questioning the fact that the civil war brought good to the Libyans.

“NATO bombing caused anger, hatred and fear. The children who fell under the bombs were so frightened that for a long time they could not utter a word. Many innocent people suffered. They had nothing to do with Gadhafi’s supporters, ”Ahmed said.

Rebels Libyans are now called "careerists" and "separatists." Militants of numerous tribes still not laid down weapon. Each group has its own interests, which they are ready to defend with weapons in their hands ”(source: "Vesti.ru", Ilya Klimov).

“... after the fall of the regime, the worst scenarios were realized in the country: the coming to power of the Islamists, the tribal massacres, the genocide of the Tuareg and the tuba, the complete discord of the national economy and ultimately the collapse of the state.

The processes that crystallized by the beginning of March, when representatives of the eastern clans decided to secede from the rest of the country, vividly confirm this: March, according to a number of sources, leaders of several Libyan tribes and a number of field commanders announced an important oil-bearing region from Sirte city, located in the central part of Libya, to the border with Egypt, "semi-autonomous." That is, all revenues from its operation should henceforth be transferred to the Bengazian "piggy bank."

Of course, this provoked rage in Tripoli, where almost nothing controls Libyan National Transitional Council (PNC), whose head Mustafa Abdel Jalil threatened to use military force against unwilling to share clans from Cyrenaica. However, his anger quickly passed when he admitted that the authorities did not have enough forces and means for this ”(source: Pravda.ru, Shamil Islambekov).

“The NPS experienced a number of regular internal disputes, and its composition and functioning are shrouded in mystery. Last July, the military leader of the Council, Abdul Fatah Eunice al-Obeidi, was killed under uncertain circumstances. Then, in November, the NPS military prosecutor named his former deputy prime minister Ali al-Issawi the prime suspect. The conflict and the opacity around this case speak of the country's political fragility after the death of Colonel Muammar al-Gaddafi ”(source: CA-News, Mohammad-Mahmoud Yield Mohamed).


In addition to the Transitional Council, there are other political forces in Libya. “The Tripoli Military Council, supported by twenty thousand fighters, for example, which controls the capital, was consistently independent of the NPS and forced its first foreign minister, Mahmoud Jibril, to leave.

Meanwhile, the rival Tripoli Revolutionary Council warned that it would dislodge any new government if its representation requirements were not met. Also, the NPS is under pressure from Libya's Berbers, who make up 10% of the population and have already taken to the streets to condemn the new political mechanisms and reject any system that does not take into account their culture and language.

This disagreement can be complicated by two additional factors. First, this is the rival struggle of large cities for the right to conquer the revolution: Misurata, in which Gadhafi’s body was shown; Tripoli, where the liberation ceremony took place; and Dzintan where the son of Gaddafi Saif al-Islam al-Gaddafi languishes in detention. And all of them, like most Libyans, unrealistically expect that their newfound freedom will somehow solve their socio-economic problems ”(source: CA-News, Mohammad-Mahmoud Yield Mohamed). At the same time, "... Libya is awash with weapons with unguarded warehouses, abandoned reserves, looted ammunition warehouses and thousands of mobile anti-aircraft missile systems, thermal guidance" (same source).

There is also an additional factor explaining the chaos, unrest and discontent in today's Libya - the lack of practical experience of political activity among the members of the Transitional Council.

“Political experience has never been a prerequisite for NPS membership. One representative was appointed to the Council because he deserted 20 with his MiG fighter aircraft years ago. Other members had previously been political prisoners or dissidents expelled from the country.

The inexperienced in the art of NPS policies often lacks the prudence necessary to make important decisions. During the eight months of the revolution last year, the NPC focused on overthrowing Gaddafi, gaining international recognition and providing access to frozen Libyan assets. These tasks left few resources for planning Libya after Gaddafi. Currently, the NPC simply does not have the human resources to consolidate the transition.

Libya has never been rich in professional bureaucracy, like neighboring Egypt. Gaddafi often relinquished power to the municipalities and citizens in an attempt to circumvent the civil servants who constantly frustrated his ambitious plans. And for almost two decades of international sanctions, the Libyan generation was not allowed to obtain the necessary technical skills while studying at universities in the West ”(source: The Day, Barack Barfi).

Journalists summarize: “Today, both in Libya and in France, Great Britain, and the United States, celebrations are being held in honor of the anniversary of the start of the intervention. Political scientists discuss the results of the campaign. And they do not give reason for joy "("Vesti.ru", Ilya Klimov).

Here are the consequences of the "anniversary":

“The US permanent representative to the UN (Susan Rice. - O. Ch.), In a statement released on Saturday, claims that“ I have never experienced such pride as when I gave a historic voice on behalf of the United States and President Obama, who saved thousands innocent lives. She quotes Obama saying that the 1973 resolution "showed how the international community should act - to unite in the name of peace and security and people defending their rights."

“Rice extols what is considered the victory of the United States and NATO everywhere, which was supposed to prove the validity of the ideas of“ humanitarian intervention ”and“ responsibility to protect, ”said Gibbs (professor stories University of Arizona in the city of Tucson David Gibbs. - O. Ch.) ITAR-TASS. - Her goal was also to raise the authority of the United States and NATO and put it on a seemingly moral level. In fact, the main consequence of the invasion of Libya was the growing instability in the world through the looting of Gadhafi’s military arsenals, which resulted in the proliferation of weapons in the North African region. ”

According to Gibbs, whose latest book, Do No Harm: Humanitarian Intervention and the Destruction of Yugoslavia, was published by Vanderbilt, the intervention in Libya "also increased the risk of nuclear proliferation, since it was implemented after Gaddafi agreed to abandon the program its development. " The American political analyst is convinced that this "will undoubtedly complicate the ongoing attempts to convince North Korea to abandon its nuclear program" ("Vesti.ru").

The Libyan crisis has already gone beyond the borders of Libya:

“The military coup that took place on Thursday in the African state of Mali was largely due to the influx of weapons and militants from Libya, said Deputy Foreign Minister Mikhail Bogdanov.

“I personally think that this is a sad consequence of the Libyan crisis. (This is a consequence) of how it was resolved when arms and militants flowed across the Libyan borders to the northern and northeastern regions of Mali. This has become a very powerful feed for various separatist groups, ”Bogdanov told reporters on Thursday” (RIA News").

Last week, on Sunday, there were armed clashes in Tripoli. Skirmishes and battles in Libya have become commonplace. Quote from the newspaper "Sight": “According to experts, similar incidents in Libyan cities will occur in the future, because the“ revolution ”has led to the fact that every citizen of Libya is now armed no worse than a special forces fighter, ITAR-TASS.”

Meanwhile, the PNS is much more interested in the welfare of Libyan citizens litigations. First, over the former Libyan intelligence chief:

“Vice-Premier of the Libyan Transitional Government Mustafa Abu Shagur, who went to the Mauritanian capital Nouakchott on Monday, obtained the consent of the government of this country to issue an intelligence chief under Gadhafi Abdullah Al-Senussi. “I met with the President of Mauritania (Mohammed Ould Abdel Aziz), and he agreed to the extradition of al-Senussi to Libya,” the politician informed the readers of his microblog on Tuesday evening (source: Gazeta.ru, A. Artemyev, S. Smirnov).

Secondly, over the son of Gaddafi:

“The trial of the second son of the overthrown Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi on charges of war crimes will begin in Tripoli in the coming weeks. It is reported by ITAR-TASS with reference to the British media. ... British print media report that Safe Al-Islam will be located on the territory of the largest metropolitan prison Ahdat. “All her prisoners were removed in order to take Gaddafi’s son. At one of the sites already built a special object. He is like a villa and has several rooms in which Gadhafi will soon be located. The facility also includes two open sports grounds and a mosque, ”the newspaper notes.” ("Russian newspaper").

And further. It is obvious that NATO will not conduct an investigation into the deaths of civilians in Libya - from air strikes inflicted by the forces of the alliance:

“Earlier it was reported that international experts were able to establish the fact of the death of 60 and injured 55 civilians. At the same time, as follows from the statement of Amnesty International, the representatives of NATO themselves recorded 55 cases of the death of peaceful Libyans. In addition, human rights defenders say more 34 killed as a result of a NATO air strike on the village of Mazhir in August last year.

Amnesty International calls on the alliance to thoroughly investigate all civilian deaths and bring those responsible to justice. In addition, according to human rights activists, NATO should pay compensation to the families of those killed and injured during the military operation.

NATO, in turn, explains that it cannot investigate alleged deaths of civilians, since today the North Atlantic Alliance no longer has the right to carry out any activities in Libya ”(source: RIA News").

The UN Commission on Libya, which undertook to study the Libyan operation, in March “published a report confirming the deaths of civilians as a result of the actions of coalition forces. At the same time, it was emphasized that the NATO command did everything necessary to avoid it ”(RIA News").

It seems that NATO and the UN have finally become friends. Two of a Kind.

Ii. "Phantom of separation"

And now we read that the democratic press writes about modern Libya: the British and American.

"San", 5 March 2012., “Libya apologizes for the desecration of graves,” the author is Felix Allen.

The article says that the leadership of Libya apologized to Britain - after the gravestones of more than a hundred British and allied graves of the heroes of the Second World War at a military cemetery in Benghazi were broken on the eve.

“The country's National Transitional Council has pledged to find Islamic extremists who are held responsible for the insult. "This action does not reflect the public opinion of the Libyans."

The article also says: "The residents of Benghazi are grateful for the help of Great Britain in overthrowing the dictator Colonel Gaddafi and find the attack disgusting."

Another article from "San" - Fresher, from 21 March: "Libyan militia captured the British, confusing the Welsh with Hebrew." And the subtitle: "Journalists were mistaken for Israeli spies." The author is Matt Quinton.

The article tells about two Britons who recently made democracy in Libya.

The injured were reporter Gareth Montgomery-Johnson of Wales origin and cameraman Nicholas Davis-Jones from Berkshire. The journalists returned to the UK after they were released last Sunday.

Quinton writes: "They were detained on February by the Swehli Brigade - one of dozens of militants who helped overcome the resistance of Colonel Gaddafi last year." Journalists spent three weeks in the dungeons, while the militants studied their equipment and video. Gareth Montgomery-Johnson said: “The conditions were not too good, what else can I say?” And he added: “We are glad to be with our families again, because they have experienced the same thing.”

Newspaper "New York Times" from 12 March 2012. put the article “Libyan Liberation Fiasco” article by Jeff D. Porter. The author is a risk consultant specializing in North Africa.

“Libya’s new electoral law,” Porter writes, “adopted by the Transitional National Council last month, provides guidelines for the election of the country's first democratic government. Many, including the United Nations, welcomed the adoption of the law as an important step on Libya’s difficult political journey. ”

But the trouble is: whether the law is not completely democratic, or whether the armed forces in Libya are not yet fully ripe for true democracy:

“But even if, as planned, the government will be elected at the end of this year, the law contains a paragraph that practically guarantees that Libya will remain economically unstable and dangerous for both itself and its neighbors, namely: it prohibits the military from voting” .

As the author notes, the exclusion of soldiers from the electoral process is a clear and real problem for countries on the transitional path from dictatorship to democracy.

“In transitional post-conflict states,” writes Porter, “such laws are intended not only to prevent generals from entering the presidential palace, but also to ensure that the armed forces remain a professional organization responsible for ensuring the sovereignty of the country and protecting national interests” .

However, the author of the article notes that Libya differs from Egypt in that it has “surprisingly weak armed forces that pose very little threat to the formation of political blocs.

Instead, Porter writes, the country is flooded with militias — according to reports, there are as many 200.000 militia members with a population of six million people. And the militias are terribly well armed - as a result of raids on warehouses with Gaddafi’s weapons, carried out during the active stages of the conflict. ”

The government, Porter notes, is powerless against impunity of the militias, and can only beg them to lay down their arms.

"One of the proposed solutions for resolving the situation is to attract militia members to regular professional Libyan military units under the control of the Ministry of Defense over 50.000 (other militia members would be expected to give up weapons of their own free will, while others would be disarmed through the program to buy weapons).

And here is the problem of the electoral law: why the militia, whose members could vote and thus prove themselves as a strong bloc, disbanded so that their members can join the military, who are excluded from the elections? In other words, the consequences of this law - the maintenance of the militias - will directly contradict its goal, namely the reduction of the role of armed groups in Libyan politics. ”

According to Porter, the economic normalization of Libya will be postponed as long as the militias have power.

Report by Suleiman Ali Al-Zwei and David D. Kirkpatrick, published on March 6 in "New York Times", called “Eastern Libya requires semi-autonomy in a free national federation”, it is reported that Benghazi’s demands for semi-autonomy of the region impose new difficulties “on the feasibility and likelihood of transitional leaders’ plans for elections in June to elect a national constituent assembly that formed would be a new government and constituted a constitution. ”

Journalists note that the “regional competition” over autonomous power began immediately after the overthrow of Colonel Gaddafi six months ago.

“The specter of division loomed over the uprising against Colonel Gaddafi from the very beginning, partly because of the long history of a divided country, partly because of the relatively short history of national unity in the area now known as Libya. Ruled as three colonies of the Ottoman Empire, Libya was first formed as a whole after Italy conquered in 1934, and the three provinces remained strong and largely independent even within the federal monarchy formed by the United Nations in 1951.

After the coup d'état in 1969, Colonel Gaddafi created an extremely centralized police state from the provinces, and moved the capital from the east to Tripoli to the west. Many in the east felt that he was starving the region, dragging resources, and this region was the first to oppose his rule. ”

Now, when Gaddafi doesn’t, and Libya is threatened with disintegration, »transitional leaders’, fearing the separation of the national government, are trying to counter the increasing “federalism” decentralization, agreeing to start with the independence of the regional militias.

In the article “Activists convince the resisting UN Human Rights Council to pressure Libya to investigate all abuses,” published March 22 in Washington Post With reference to the Associated Press, the following is said:

“Serious crimes committed by ex-rebels in Libya risk unpunished because members of the UN Human Rights Council do not show a great inclination to put pressure on the new government to investigate abuses committed after the fall of the Gaddafi regime,” human rights organizations warned on Wednesday.

A report by a group of UN experts, published earlier this month, acknowledged that former rebels continue to harass people who are perceived as loyal to the late Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi. Militias are holding thousands of people under amateur guards, where torture is widespread, the report says.

“The transitional government does not want to investigate the actions of these militias,” said Donatella Rovera, senior crisis counselor at Amnesty International. ”

Observed and translated by Oleg Chuvakin
- especially for topwar.ru
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