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Libya’s imbalance of power has left the UN veto holders divided

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Libya

In the current power-vacuum in Libya, it is not only the internal forces who are trying to gain control over it but also the external powers including France, Germany, US, Russia. Libya holds a significant place in international politics for it holds the biggest oil reserves in Africa and also makes for a pit stop for the migrants travelling to Europe.

Unfortunately, the 76-year strongman, General Haftar whose self-styled Libyan National army is controlling most of the country, is doing little to woo those across the Mediterranean.  He is definitely betting for bringing stability and ending the migration crisis in the nation but above all he is working towards unifying the nation which has only got tattered and scattered post 2011 revolution. Haftar is more welcome in continental capitals because France, Italy, Russian and US are aware of his influence over the nation.

In July, Haftar was hosted in Paris with UN-backed Libyan Prime Minister Fayez al-Sarraj by French President Emmanuel Macron, who lauded the two Libyans for having displayed “historic courage” in striking a cease-fire and agreeing to elections early next year. Haftar doesn’t recognise Sarraj‘s government as it backed by Islamist extremist funded by Qatar and Turkey.

Besides France, Haftar was also invited by Italian Defense Minister Roberta Pinotti to Rome. She proved willing to overlook his history of making threats against Italian naval ships entering Libyan waters and joined Macron in ignoring ever-louder allegations of Haftar’s responsibility for war crimes during his battle for control of eastern Libya.

Despite LNA launching defensives in Tripoli, UK is not ruling out the probability of Haftar coming to power in future Libyan government. When Guardian asked Jeremy Hunt, Foreign Secretary of Hunt, if Haftar’s perceived offensive attitude gives him the right to be a major figure in the future of Libya, Hunt said: “We have to be careful about making those kinds of judgments. We have not covered ourselves in glory with our policy on Libya. Let us face it, if we knew in 2011 we would be in the situation we are now we would be asking ourselves some searching questions, so we had better be careful about ruling people out and ruling people in. The right way forward is a a ceasefire, political talks and a political settlement”.

A UN emergency session towards held at the end of April got closed without a joint decision because it was vetoed by Russia and the United States. Diplomats told the Reuters that Russia would not agree to assigning responsibility for the conflict to Haftar. The United States did not give a reason, but US President openly promoted and applauded Haftar for putting a brave fight against terrorism.

In all this Germany has taken the responsibility of being politically correct. Berlin is trying to convince France to opt for UN backed government over General Haftar’s rule. Germany currently has a special role in dealing with international conflicts, as it held the rotating presidency of the UN Security Council in April. France performed the role in March — the two countries are sharing the presidency over the two allocated months as a symbol of their unity. Ironically, the two don’t  seem unified when it comes to Libya. Chancellor Angela Merkel has spoken to Al-Sarraj and condemned Haftar’s offensive. Omit Nouripour said Germany must also urge French officials to exert their influence on the general to prevent him from aggravating the situation. “Our great friendship with France must allow sufficient scope for this,” he added.

The world powers on paper are supporting Serraj but otherwise it is Haftar that they know holds better capability in ruling the nation. The world biggies are trying to broker a deal in Libya, not for the cause of peace. If it was for peace NATO forces would done it 8 years ago but it is only to bring a government which favours their nation. After all oil wells drive the world politics and global economy.

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