Monday, March 07, 2016

Libya - Deeply Divided

Libya’s future is threatened by ‘terrifying’ ISIL, UN chief Ban Ki-moon says. The UN Secretary General has warned that the future of Libya, and the stability of the whole Sahel region, is at stake as it faces the “terrifying threat” of the ISIL group. But he warned international powers not to “stoke the fires of conflict” in the country.

Chaos has engulfed Libya since the 2011 Nato-backed ouster of dictator Muammar Gaddafi and rival administrations are being urged to sign up to a UN-brokered national unity government to help restore stability.

The internationally recognised and rather weak government is based in the far east of the North African country while an opposing government was installed in Tripoli, the former capital of Libya.

The ISIL group and other extremist organisations have exploited the power vacuum, making gains along the oil-rich coastal regions and triggering concern among Western nations over terrorists controlling territory just 300 kilometres from Europe.

“There are alarming reports of widespread human rights violations, including serious abuses that may amount to war crimes,” Ban said in his comments Friday. “All those with influence must use it to calm the situation and stop the fighting. It is utterly irresponsible for any outside player to stoke the fires,” he added.

Ban said that his special representative Martin Kobler “is facilitating talks on a national unity government” as “we face the terrifying scourge of ISIL expanding in Libya and beyond its borders.” Delays would only worsen the dire humanitarian needs, he warned, adding that “Libya’s future is at stake” and “the reverberations echo far”. Success in stabilising Libya would also benefit the whole Sahel region and “our world” in general, he added.

[Source: Gulf News, Dubai, on March 5, 2016]

On Sunday March 6, 2016, former U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton made clear she stood behind U.S. action in Libya, saying if the country hadn’t participated in the bombing campaign that led to the ouster of Moammar Gadhafi, Libya would now look like Syria.

The Democratic presidential contender acknowledged on CBS’s “Face the Nation” the situation in Libya is not optimal but noted the 1,500 deaths in Libya fighting last year were far fewer than the 150,000 in Syria.

[Source: International Business Times on March 6, 2016]

The United States is basing plans for military intervention in Libya on faulty intelligence, Western officials and country experts have told the Sunday Telegraph.

American intelligence agencies assess that the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (Isil) has doubled in size in Libya, with between 5,000 and 6,500 fighters in the country. Privately, however, some US officials say they believe these estimates to be overblown. Independent experts have come to the same conclusion. ..... all said they believed the real figure to be only 20 to 40 per cent of the US estimate.

[Source: Sunday Telegraph, London, on March 5, 2016]

Please note: The IP address of that Tripoli visitor to "blueprint news" has been blacklisted together with a whole range of related IP numbers by different websites. This, however, doesn't necessarily mean any danger of electronic attack going out from such IP address. It might be instead a sign of politically motivated blacklisting as political power in Libya is currently divided between two opposing governments and different terrorist groups.

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