Home / Sezioni / globi / Lybia: what Europe can do?

facebook-link twitter-link


Registrati alla newsletter di sbilanciamoci.info


Ultimi link in questa sezione

Turni di 12 ore e dormitori, l’Europa di Foxconn sembra la Cina
La vera tragedia europea è la Germania
Redistributing Work Hours
Institutions and Policies
A Finance Minister Fit for a Greek Tragedy?
I dannati di Calais
Are creditors pushing Greece deliberately into default?

Lybia: what Europe can do?


It is probably too early to draw conclusions from what happened Thursday morning in Tripoli with the kidnapping and quick release of Prime Minister Ali Zeidan. These events, however, do raise some useful questions for those who wish to understand better what Europe can do for Libya.

The first question is about the identity of the group that supposedly carried out the kidnapping. If reports that it is part of Libya’s official security apparatus are confirmed, then Thursday’s events should be framed as a very peculiar coup attempt rather than as an act of terrorism. In other words, if the above assertion is true, the struggle is not between the government and armed groups but within the new post-Gaddafi government, between armed “revolutionaries” and Libya’s nascent democratic system.

That a different armed group of “revolutionaries” supposedly freed Zeidan further confirms this reading of Thursday’s events. According to media reports, Zeidan was abducted from his well-guarded hotel room without anyone, notably his bodyguards, firing a single shot. If this is true, then it too supports the “coup attempt” narrative. That the coup attempt also eventually failed demonstrates that no armed group and no single constituency can control Libya; instead, inclusiveness in the transition should be the shared goal.

The second question is about the relationship between Thursday’s events and the arrest/kidnapping of Nazih al-Ruqai’i, a.k.a. Abu Anas al-Libi, by US special forces on Saturday. Al-Ruqai’i was indicted in 2000 for his role in the bombings of US embassies in Tanzania and Kenya in 1998. Was Thursday’s kidnapping in retaliation for what was perceived as Zeidan’s green light to his abduction? To what extent did American actions undermine the prime minister’s authority and thus create a power void that some element of the Libyan government tried to exploit? More generally, European and American policymakers should start a conversation about the compatibility of their stated support for local governments such as Zeidan’s and the “War on Terror 2.0” that is based on drones, targeted assassinations, and the abduction of suspects. In light of Thursday’s events, was the capture of one man, although an important man, worth rocking the boat of the shaky (and western-friendly) Zeidan government?

Third, is calling for “more security” in Libya enough? Sure, after Thursday’s events popular demands to disarm the militias will grow louder. But security must be embedded in a stronger government. While government authority was also weak during Gaddafi’s time, the “revolutionary” state apparatus he created partly compensated for this weakness – excluding parts of eastern Libya, which had been long neglected by Gaddafi, especially during the 1980s and 1990s.

Read more

Tratto da ecfr.eu