Politically overshadowed, Libya, in spite of its tumultuous irony with Arab Spring hardly marks advent into limelight. With a government that barely exists, Washington is preparing to take “decisive military action” in Libya against the alarming growth of ISIS.
“Action in Libya is needed before Libya becomes a sanctuary for ISIL (another name for ISIS), before they become extremely hard to dislodge,” said US Defense Official. A team of six British RAF officers and MI6 operatives flew to an airbase near the eastern Libyan city of Tobruk, which is under control by internationally recognized militia forces. In November, a US F-16 fighter jet struck the eastern town of Derna, killing Abu Nabil, also known as Wissam Najm Abd Zayd al-Zubaydi, the local ISIS leader.
In October 2011, the U.S., France and Britain launched attacks that led to the overthrow of the Libyan leader Gadaffi. The majority of Libyans are demonstrably worse off today than they were under Gaddafi, notwithstanding his personality cult and authoritarian rule. The slaughter is getting worse by the month and is engulfing the entire country. There is an ongoing civil war between the Council of Deputies in Tobruk and its supporters, the New General National Congress in Tripoli and its supporters, and various jihadists and tribal elements controlling parts of the country. While foreign pressure builds to tackle a threat from Islamic State militants, Libya’s internationally recognized parliament, based in the east, has rejected a main article in the U.N. accord as well as a proposed list of ministers.
It now has two governments and parliaments, with the internationally recognized authorities based in the east and a militia-backed authority in the capital Tripoli. In December, Libya’s warring factions signed a UN-backed peace deal designed to establish a unity government that could lead a military push against Isis. However, earlier this week Libya’s internationally recognized parliament rejected the proposed new government.
Noted journalist Patrick Cockburn had rightly stated ‘Human rights organisations have had a much better record in Libya than the media since the start of the uprising in 2011. They discovered that there was no evidence for several highly publicised atrocities supposedly carried out by Gaddafi's forces that were used to fuel popular support for the air war in the US, Britain, France and elsewhere.’
Libya is imploding. Its oil exports have fallen from 1.4 million barrels a day in 2011 to 235,000 barrels a day. Militias hold 8,000 people in prisons, many of whom say they have been tortured. Some 40,000 people from the town of Tawergha south of Misrata were driven from their homes which have been destroyed.
Unfortunately, the militias are getting stronger not weaker. Libya is a land of regional, tribal, ethnic warlords who are often simply well-armed racketeers exploiting their power and the absence of an adequate police force. Nobody is safe.
Libya represents a classic case of the failure of Arab Spring. Even though pro-democracy outbursts took place in 2011, after the death of Gadaffi, Libya has descended into a political morass. The foreign intervention of US, France and Britain in Libya with the imposition of a ‘No Fly Zone’, camouflaging the Western vested interests of implementing neo-conservative regime have failed in Libya as it did earlier in Iraq.
There are few hard-line questions though that makes Libya a difference.
Firstly, the media blackout regarding the political condition in Libya is making it very difficult to meticulously decipher what is happening in the country. Whether the media blackout is deliberate or just because Libya is unsafe for journalists, still can be debated.
Secondly, media is flooded with the news and narratives about the refugees from Syria but why no one talks about Libyan refugees. What happened to them, amidst the tribal and ethnic tension that is catapulting the state into a condition of complete failure?
Thirdly, there are numerous militants being recruited from Libya into ISIS. The main question here is how they are getting arms and financed. There is hardly any concrete evidence regarding it.
The revolution has failed in Libya for sure, but what about the future, what about the solution? The western countries are hardly interested in a non ambiguous plan of action along with the UN.
So, will be mutely be spectators as Libya’s case worsens and it implodes?