Voice from Libya: No one is winning

Sallie Anderson

Whether it is the West, Turkey, or Russia who believe they are winning in Libya, Libyan people lose, according to one Libyan female, talking to EUobserver from Tripoli on Tuesday (9 June).

” Libyans in the west [of Libya] are bitter,” Hala Bugaighis, who is the creator of a Libyan women’s rights NGO called Jusoor, stated.

  • Hala Bugaighis is an attorney and creator of women’s rights NGO Jusoor (Image: friendsofeurope.org).

“There’s so much emotion involved, so many civilians died … there’s so much hate,” she stated.

“Before, people saw the war as a competition between rival governments, but now they see it as an invasion of east against west,” sheadded


” There’s a rip in the social material … some people are even stating that separation [of Libya into two states] is the only option, which is terrible,” she stated.

Bugaighis talked to this website soon after the Tripoli-based Federal Government of National Accord (GNA) broke a 15- month siege of the capital city by Khalifa Haftar, a warlord from eastern Libya, which eliminated over 2,300 people.

She has actually resided in Tripoli given that the civil war started in 2014, after an uprising backed by Western air-strikes fell Libya’s former totalitarian, Muammar Gaddafi, a couple of years previously.

Couple of would state the West was succeeding in dealing with the dispute ever since.

French foreign minister Jean-Yves Le Drian, recently, required brand-new peace talks in line with the “Berlin process,” an EU-backed accord.

However France’s voice called hollow, considered that French unique forces have actually been equipping Haftar and battling on his side for many years.

France first backed him in the wake of the Paris attacks in 2015, since “Haftar convinced Le Drian he had intelligence critical to combatting terrorists in Libya,” Deborah Jones, who was United States ambassador to Libya at the time, informed EUobserver.

However with Haftar now in retreat, “France looks like it backed the wrong pony,” Jones stated.

France likewise looks like part of a noticeably un-European union, since Haftar’s army includes ex-Gaddafi fighters, Kremlin-linked mercenaries, Syrian-regime patriots, Chad’s rebels-for-hire, and Sudanese militias with outright human rights records.

Italy, the other main EU lead character in Libya, is playing a similarly doublegame


On the one hand, it offers loud political assistance to the GNA, the only EU and UN-recognised authority in Libya.

However, at the very same time, it is offering 2 advanced warships to another one of Haftar’s allies, Egypt.

And the Italian and french actions have actually made it difficult for the EU to get associated with a united method.

“The situation is absolutely awful. No wonder it’s hard for the Libyans to understand European foreign policy,” Luigi Binelli-Mantelli, the former commander-in-chief of Italy’s militaries, informed EUobserver likewise on Tuesday.

Libyan people no longer sought to France, Italy, or the EU for management, Bugaighis kept in mind.

“The EU cares only about its own interests, like migration. It has no role to play in the bigger equation – it’s sad, but that’s how normal Libyans see it,” she stated.

Europe’s “Berlin process” was emblematic of the problem, she added, since the accord, concurred in Germany in January, united 12 foreign countries – however no Libyan voices.

” The Berlin procedure is a disgrace … it’s practically how they [foreign powers] wish to divide up their shares [of Libya],” she stated.

Other players

The United States was still commonly viewed as a superpower efficient in implementing peace, Bugaighis stated.

However in reality, United States military operations in Libya are, nowadays, restricted to unique forces searching for lonesome cells of Islamist radicals.

And there was “little hope” of more than that, with United States domestic and transatlantic politics currently in chaos, Jones, the former American ambassador, stated.

For some experts, that made Turkey and Russia appearance like winners.

The Turkish military assisted the GNA to drive Haftar out of Tripoli and the GNA given Turkey brand-new maritime borders in return.

“The new maritime zone allows Turkey to completely cut off Italy and Greece from important oil and gas reserves that were recently discovered in the eastern Mediterranean,” Italy’s Binelli-Mantelli stated.

On The Other Hand, Russia, utilizing a private military company called Wagner, has built a brand-new air-base in Libya, which currently hosts 14 warplanes, and which it can utilize to pet Nato in future, whether Haftar passes away or lives.

“[Russian president Vladimir] Putin should be pinching himself when he gets up each early morning to make certain he isn’t still dreaming,” Moncef Kartas, a former UN weapons inspector in Libya, informed EUobserver, describing what the EU and United States were letting the Kremlin do.

“Europe’s southern borders, which are fundamental to its security, have been unbelievably neglected,” Kartas stated.

The next act in Libya’s “tragedy” might be even worse if one of those Russian jets mistakenly eliminated soldiers from Nato members the United States or Turkey.

“Libya is getting more complicated and risky, not only for the Mediterranean area, but for all of Europe,” Binelli-Mantelli stated.

Just losers

And in the long-lasting, Turkey and Russia’s success likewise based on unstable ground.

People in west Libya were grateful for Turkish assistance, however, deep down, Turkish soldiers still felt like “former occupiers” to many Libyans, Bugaighis stated, describing bygone centuries of Ottoman Empire guideline in the area.

” The Russians are simply mercenaries defending money, so they do not have a crucial role [in Libya’s future],” sheadded


The West assisted produce the mess by leaving a vacuum after Gaddafi fell, she kept in mind.

” Libyans had never ever knowledgeable democracy prior to, so it was truly brand-new, and they [the EU and US] simply left us alone, in the dark,” she stated.

“It’s not fair to say Libya, or the Arab world, is unsuited for democracy,” she added.

” I was here [in Tripoli] in 2011 and there was a real belief in modification at that time, there was real momentum, prior to things failed,” she stated.

A UN-led peace procedure may assist Libya to stop briefly the killing after 6 years of war, Bugaighis informed this website.

However neither the UN, the EU, or any foreign power had actually revealed real interest in the core problem for stability, she stated.

“There will be no peace without a fully inclusive reconciliation process and no reconciliation without transitional justice,” Bugaighis, who is an attorney, stated.

“In Libya, since 2011, there has been no accountability whatsoever. Everybody just got away with everything they did – you can’t build a country on that,” she stated.

The post Voice from Libya: No one is winning appeared first on World Weekly News.