Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Libyans still struggle for justice

Amnesty International says Nato has failed to properly investigate or provide compensation for civilian deaths caused by its air strikes during the seven-month operation in Libya. Amnesty said yesterday that scores of Libyans, who were not involved in the conflict, had been killed or injured in Nato bombings but there had been no proper investigations.

"Nato officials repeatedly stressed their commitment to protecting civilians," said Donatella Rovera, senior crisis adviser at Amnesty. "They cannot now brush aside the deaths of scores of civilians with some vague statement of regret without properly investigating these deadly incidents." Inquiries should be held to determine whether any civilian casualties resulted from a breach of international law, and if so, those responsible should be brought to justice.

Another report has been rcently released by an organisation not known for its liberalism but which echoes Amnesty's conclusions. While the bombing was initially presented as having a humanitarian objective, it morphed into a campaign primarily concerned with regime change a Royal United Services Institute report said

"The Libya campaign was hailed as a triumph for the principle of the responsibility to protect. But the truth may be otherwise. For the manner in which the initial Security Council resolution was contorted out of all recognition from the protection of civilians to, in effect, outright regime change...."

The Nato military mission began on 31 March 2011 and it carried out some 26,000 sorties including about 9,600 strike missions and destroyed about 5,900 targets before operations ending on 31 October of that year.

The "success" in Libya is now being touted as a possible model for international intervention in Syria. Yet Libya's "pro"-democracy forces who fought against tyranny have been quick to establish their own. The various militias and factions that were supported by NATO had little in common other than their opposition to Gadhafi. In the wake of NATO’s victory these refuse to disarm and are clashing among themselves. The group that captured Gadhafi’s son, Seif al-Islam, has refused to turn him over to the impotent National Transitional Council in Tripoli. They are keeping him in custody as a bargaining chip.

It was in Benghazi, the capital of Cyrenaica, that the tribal leaders first rose up against Gadhafi’s central authority in Tripoli and now those tribal leaders of the eastern, oil-rich region have declared their own autonomy from Tripoli. In response, the unelected Libyan leader Mustapha Abdel Jalil has vowed to use force to defend national unity. When Gadhafi threatened to use force to subdue the rebellion, the United Nations Security Council authorised NATO to impose a no-fly zone in order to protect Libyan civilians. Now the very same leader that NATO bombed into power in the name of democracy is vowing to employ the same measures Gadhafi himself would have used to prevent the dissolution of Libya!



Anti Money Laundering said...

Justice means minding one's own business and not meddling with other men's concerns.

ajohnstone said...

Do you mean that the working class and socialists should adopt isolationism as a policy and forego international solidarity?