Thursday, June 07, 2018

The Libyan Civil War

The pretext for the Western Powers disposing of Libya's Gaddafi was to protect a city. There is now a silence on the threat to the 125,000 inhabitants of Derna. Violence has reached unprecedented levels, according to the UN. Heavy ground fighting and widespread destruction of houses by airstrikes and shelling is exacerbating severe shortages of water, food, medicine, and electricity. The UN Support Mission in Libya, UNSMIL, has urged restraint on all sides, and called for parties to ensure “unimpeded humanitarian access and facilitate the safe exit of civilians wishing to leave the city”.

The assault on Derna by the forces of renegade General Khalifa Haftar, known as the Libyan National Army (LNA), is the latest episode in the internecine warfare which has torn Libya apart since the NATO-backed overthrow of Gaddafi in 2011. Haftar is one of the most powerful of the many players in Libya, controlling most of the east of the country after capturing Benghazi last year.

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