Western short-sighted invasion to blame for Libya chaos, lawlessness
Libyan Prime Minister Ali Zeidan spent several hours in captivity
on Thursday after a 'former rebel' militia kidnapped him from a
Tripoli hotel in retaliation for his apparent cooperation with a
US anti-terror raid.
The event, Clark argues, highlights the complete chaos that exits in Libya since the 2011 Western intervention.
RT:There are conflicting reports about this abduction and the release - is it possible to cut through the spin at this point?
Neil Clark: It has been very hard to find out what has been going on. It is quite a farcical when we think that we’ve got the Prime Minister of Libya that has been captured and abducted by a rebel militia that are actually aligned to the government itself and claim that they were acting under the orders of another government’s department. But I think it shows and sort of highlights the complete chaos in Libya at the moment, in fact the chaos that exits in Libya since 2011. And while we can say it’s farcical and also quite humorous really, I think for the Libyan people living in this situation is quite terrible.
RT:How deep is the divide between Libya's armed militias?
NC: I think that they are very divided. What kept these militias groups together in 2011 was the opposition to the rule of Colonel Gaddafi. They are very disparate group. They came together to topple Colonel Gaddafi with Western help, but since then they have been fighting over the spoils of victory. There is nothing there to bring them together. Libya is a very divided society along tribal lines. The fact of the matter is that Gaddafi for all his crimes and all his sins, did hold the country together from 1969-2011. There has been vacuum since the fall of Gaddafi. We’ve got lawlessness in Libya, we got chaos, we got 500 percent increase in the murder rate. The government is not in control of the country. Militias are in control of large areas of the country and trying to get these militias working together is going to be impossible.
RT:Why have they not been integrated back into society two years since the revolution?
NC: We have to look at the Libyan society. The fact is that Gaddafi, as I’ve said, did hold the country together. It is a very, very hard country to hold together because it is divided along tribal lines. Yes he was a dictator but he did hold the country together and for Libyans it meant a possibility of living decent lives in the Gaddafi era. Unfortunately since then, we’ve had this power vacuum and I think to expect these very different groups to work together without a strong, unified leader as Gaddafi was, it would be very, very hard. I’m not saying that Libya needs a new dictator at all, I’d like to see more democracy in Libya but the responsibility for this chaos must lie with the Western powers who toppled Gaddafi without really having a firm plan on what was going to happen afterwards. We have seen this in every country that the West has intervened to topple the government. We have seen this in Iraq – 6,000 people alone killed this year in Iraq. We have seen it in Afghanistan with the ongoing war there and we had over 100,000 people killed in Syria in the last two years. That was due to a different type of Western intervention by packing proxy militia who is trying to topple the government there. The chaos and the lawlessness in Libya and the prime responsibility must lie with the NATO powers who helping toppling Gaddafi in 2011.
RT:When Prime Minister Zeidan was released, Britain's Foreign Secretary said "We will work with the Libyan government on ensuring the transition remains on track and insecurities are addressed". Can the Libyan government address anything at this point?
NC: Things are worse now in October 2013 then they were last year or two years ago. Much worse, because as I’ve said the crime rate is rising, 500 percent increase in the murder rate, you’ve got lawlessness in all parts of the country, the whole production has seized in large amount. We’ve got a real economic crisis in Libya. Libya is going backwards, it is not going forwards. So for William Hague to come out and claim he wants to take the Libyan transition forward, well where has he been? The fact is that Libya is going backwards at a fast rate. I only fear what will happen in the next few years? I do not see any end in sight to this.