REVUE DU WEB
Persistent violence: No unifying political ideology to guide post-Gaddafi Libya
Published time: November 26, 2013 04:40
Libyan army soldiers sit in the back of a pick-up truck as they arrive at Benghazi’s Al-Jalal hospital where wounded victims from clashes between Libyan Special Forces and Ansar al-Sharia militiamen are being treated on November 25, 2013 in the eastern coastal city.(AFP Photo / Abdullah Doma)
RT: Why has the Libyan government failed to establish a reasonable level of stability and control over the country thus far?
Abayomi Azikiwe: There has been a problem associated with bringing together the various militia groups and many of them claim that they fought during the war for regime change in 2011. But many of them are motivated by sectional interests, by criminal activity and we have seen the fruits of this over the last weeks both in the capital of Tripoli as well as in Benghazi. In Benghazi the latest fighting indicates that there is strong resistance on the part of many of these militia groups into consolidating their forces inside what they claim to be the national army that the Prime Minister Ali Zeidan is working trying to construct during this time period.
RT: Many of these armed groups that are fighting now fought in 2011 as well, why didn’t they put down their weapons after Gaddafi’s fall.
AA: During the war for regime change in 2011 there was no uniform or consistent political ideology or philosophy that could have guided the country during the post-Gaddafi era. Also, the role of NATO, the Pentagon, and the CIA through their massive bombings, through their destabilization programs destroyed most of the national institutions inside the country. So in order to try to put the country back together again without a prevailing ideology or a political vision is almost impossible. And then of course we still have the ongoing role of the US and other Western states who are continually interfering in the internal affairs of Libya. Now the US is talking about training some 5,000-7,000 Libyans to be a part of this national army. This could cause even more consternation inside the country because many of the militia groups even though against Gaddafi, they do not support the US or NATO interfering in Libyan affairs at this stage.
RT: The government also lost control of some major oil-fields to separatist militia, do you think this can lead to civil war funded by black market oil sales?
AA: There is a lot of criminal activity going on, there have been complaints by contiguous states – in Tunisia, Egypt as well as other countries throughout North Africa, as well as West Africa, saying that instability in Libya is spreading to their nation states as well. This is getting extremely difficult for the Libyan government to maintain stability. And there is factionalism among the militia. For example, Misrata militia just a week and a half ago attempted to move into Tripoli and seize power, they of course were beaten back. But, this of course is just representative of what the problems are inside the country and it remains to be seen whether the current government will be able to stabilize the situation in Libya. But, it seems highly unlikely and it is going to be a serious problem not only for Libya itself, but for other countries through North as well as West Africa.
RT: How big a toll for Al-Qaeda affiliates have in Libya?
AA: It depends on who you describe as being al-Qaeda. There are various Islamist guerrilla organizations that are operating in Libya. They are also operating in Algeria and the north of Mali. It’s very convenient to put a label of al-Qaeda on them, but they have their own sectional, even ethnic interests. Therefore, they are trying to pursue those interests. But to just label them as being al-Qaeda takes away from the subtlety and complexity of the ongoing crisis inside that region of Africa.