Scapegoating in Libya

It’s a year and a half since the ouster of dictator Muammar Gaddafi but the country’s descent into chaos continues unabated, as most recently shown by the rape of three British aid workers by Libyan gangsters affiliated to the so-called “security forces”.

Unfortunately, rather than face up to the homegrown mess they’ve created, some Libyans are looking for scapegoats, namely, the United Nations Support Mission in Libya.

According to the Tripoli Post, there is “growing suspicion among Libyans that foreign intervention is the main factor behind the slowness of establishing strong national army, police force and the emergence of strong central government”.

In fact, the main culprits for the chaos are Libyans themselves. As we’ve argued in “Libya on the edge of a precipice“,

The post-Gaddafi Libyan authorities, from the National Transitional Council to the recently formed government of Prime Minister Ali Zidan, have a uniquely idiotic security concept: building an army composed of a coalition of “approved militias”. This will not work. WIth 1,700 militias plaguing the country and respecting no one, it is a recipe for endemic violence and a complete breakdown of society.

The solution, as we said in the above article, is precisely what the Libyans cited by the Tripoli Post are against: an international peacekeeping force.

Even before the ouster of Gaddafi, we thought it was foolish of the then provisional rebel representative body, the National Transitional Council, to rule out the option of an interim international police force to keep law and order after Gaddafi. If an international force had been deployed, we wouldn’t be in the mess we’re in now – in fact, Libya would probably have been well on the way to becoming a normal country, not the Mad-Max-land it is now.

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