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Foreign Policy: Libya Can't Save Itself

March 23, 2017

Click here to read the article

Our Comment:

The authors of this article, both advocates of a strong Italian Tripoli based role on Libya, are wrong to suggest that Britain should have another attempt to try and fix Libya. Both Italy and Britain neocolonial meddling is not likely to be perceived favorably in Libya.
The argument made by the authors that this British role is appropriate because of the recent Brexit is

 

incomprehensible and absurd.

The suggestion that the Sukheirat negotiated Libyan agreement is a failed product of the UN alone is to categorically deny the clumsiness of the British, French and Italians as key maneuverers of this agreement and their failure to effectively support it or to deal with its disastrous sequences in Libya.

Not withstanding the importance of keeping Libya and its key Libyan institutions unified, to simplify the complexities of the Libyan conflicts and to suggest that Tripoli should continue to be the most essential element of stability for the country by in-part continuing to centralize the Tripoli location of the Central bank, the National Oil Company and other national investment corporations is to ignore Libyan history and the recent re-emergence of political and military influence of the historic province of Cyrenaica, frequently referred to as the "East" and its strong public and administrative outcries of unwillingness to accept the continuation of Tripoli's political and economic centrality in Libya.

The readers need to appreciate that in 1969 when Ghadafi shifted his seat of power to Tripoli, Libya had two constitutional capitals (Benghazi and Tripoli). The USA and Britain and most countries had embassies in both cities and crown corporations such as the Libyan Oil Corporation, Libyan Airlines and many others were based in the Libyan twin capital Benghazi. For forty two years and until the recent 2011 revolt, Ghadafi poured his wrath on the resistant Cyranaicans  by shifting everything to Tripoli, hence reducing its geopolitical, economic and social status and resulting in a significant Libyan population migration to Tripoli.

Perhaps the most worthy message in this article is the recognition that a key leadership role for the new USA administration in the North Africa- Sahil Region is desperately needed to fill in the security vacuum created by a fragmented incohesive European governance and the Obama malaised US foreign policy of leading-from-behind.

 

Hani Shennib
 

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