Recently, the United Nations Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL) announced that the third round of Libya truce talks
had begun aiming at stopping violence in the oil rich North African country. Although most involved foreign players
as France, Britain, the United States and other members of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) have
called for a ceasefire and a political settlement, the civil war is nowhere near the end as a result of divergent interests of the participants.
Since the sacking and killing of former Libyan leader, Muammar Gaddafi, in 2011 by NATO Forces, Libyan factions
have been fighting in a civil war
that escalated in 2014 with the
self – serving backing of various
militia by some countries of the Atlantic Alliance. The UN finally recognized the Tripoli government under Prime
Minister, Fayez al – Sarraj, known as the Government of National Accord (GNA).
The new government has been fighting against the Libyan National Army (LNA), led by General Khalifa Hafter. Backed
by the parliament, LNA is based
in the eastern city of Tobruk.
Foreign actors attracted by Libya’s rich oil resources and its unique location as a sea gate to Europe have taken sides and
made the conflicts complex. Several international peace talks with the participation of world powers and regional actors in Paris, Abu Dhabi, and
Palermo have been scuppered by
a new round of conflagration.
The UN has reiterated that
foreign involvement in Libya must be stopped and placed an arm embargo in 2011. But the arm embargo continues to be violated.
On June 6 this year, the Egyptian president, Abdel Fattiah Al-Sis, met with Haftar and proposed the “Cairo
Declaration” calling for a cease fire in Libya, an election of a leadership council, the disbanding of militias and the
exit of all foreign fighters from
Libya. The UN recognized Tripoli
government did not attend the
meeting in Cairo and kept silent to the new offer, while Turkey and the European Union said the new proposal is “unacceptable.”
This has been the scenario over the years- a pause, regrouping, peace talks, new armed groups, alliances and
another battle. ‘’The attack on Libya by U.S, British and FrenchSpecial Forces and drones in March 2011 was officially the
most thoroughly humanitarian of wars.’’ Conflict prevention expert, Gareth Evans, was joining a chorus of western opinion when he insisted in March 2011 that the operation “was not about bombing for
democracy or for Gaddafi’s head. Legally, morally, politically and militarily it has only one justification, protecting the
Horace Campbell’s account of the war in his book: Global NATO and the catastrophic failure In Libya, effectively
demolishes the notion that the intervention had even traces of humanitarianism about it. Campbell clearly outlines the catastrophic results of the western bombing. Around 50,000 people died after the intervention started as opposed to a few thousand before, and the Libyan state fell apart under the
impact of mass bombardment and the subsequent rise of the militias. Importantly Campbell shows this disastrous outcome was a direct consequence of the motives that drove the intervention. ‘’If there were any
doubts about the real mission of the United States, France, Britain and other members of NATO in Libya, these doubts
were clarified with the nature of the military campaign against the people of Libya,” writes Campbell.
This intervention has clarified for many African military forces that their alliance with the United States and France
will not spare them when it is in the interest of the NATO Forces to dispense with former allies. Gaddafi had enabled theimperial forces by financing
their governments, purchasing junk equipment as weaponry and co-operating with their intelligence agencies. When the idea of the US Africa Command (AFRICOM) was being discussed within the security circles in the US , there were major debates as
to the real purpose of this new
combatant command . Was the
mission one to advise and assist
African Militaries and work to
build partnerships; was the
mission about the protection
of U.S petroleum companies
and agric business interest;
would the United States be
confronting china in Africa and
if so , where; or was the mission
a new front for the global war
Libya provides the answers.
Bernard Henri – Levy, the
French intellectual who
proudly claimed to have done
the intellectual and diplomatic
heavy lifting to clear the way
for the NATO attack, admitted
that France had been planning
intervention years before.
When the opportunity came, it
was not only an uncoordinated,
but an unseemly scramble
for advantage. France on
March 19 at 6pm reportedly
launched its bombers within
hours of the UN voting that it
had a responsibility to protect
in Libya. The French and
Americans scrambled to catch
up. By midnight, Americans
and British submarines were
launching tomahawk missiles
on pre-arranged targets around
According to Italian Parliamentarian, Giampiero Canton, France strongly objected to NATO oversight because
they wanted to secure post war
oil contracts for themselves.
On September 1st that year, a
London Guardian headline ran,’’
the race is on for Libya’s oil, with
Britain and France both staking
a claim. ‘’ As if to illustrate the
claim in the next weeks, Tripoli
was visited by then British Prime
Minister, David Cameron, the
French president, Sarkozy,
Turkish President, Recep
Erdogan and Paola Scaron, the
CEO of Italian energy giant, ENI.
Campbell documents important
discoveries of gas in the 1990s
making Libya the second largest
source in the world.
France was also interested in
the Nubian Sandstone Aquifer,
one of the biggest underground
sources of fresh water anywhere
on the globe. And German
companies had for some time
been surveying Libya’s desert
areas for future production of
solar power for Europe.
While Libya continues to twist
and turn in sorrow and blood,
progressive Africans must now
learn the important lessons of
a NATO supported intervention
that remains silent on the killing
of innocent Africans.
– Osaretin wrote from Benin City