Libyan crisis is exploding out of proportion. The international community, it seems, is more interested in flaring the ongoing fighting, rather than brokering a ceasefire.
The reported British involvement with rebels in Benghazi is a case in point. The BBC quoted Libyan Foreign Minister Abdul Ati Al Obedi as saying that a British plan to send a military team to advise rebels could harm chances of peace in the war-torn country. On its face value, it is a profound concern. The mandate of Britain and France, who spearheaded the momentum to enforce a no-fly zone in Libya to save the civilians from indiscriminate use of force by Col Muammar Gaddafi, doesn’t allow for meddling in petty domestic affairs.
The expressed intention on the part of London to provide logistics and intelligence training in Benghazi would result in truncating the territorial integrity of Libya and create poles of political divide that would hamper peace prospects for a long time to come. This strategy is bound to flare civil war and result in insurmountable casualties. What the Allies are doing is not a done affair, as it is tantamount to breach of trust and the mandate of the UN Security Council under Resolution 1973.
Obedi, however, has a point when he stipulates his embattled regime’s blueprint for an immediate ceasefire to be followed by an interim election to be supervised by the UN. While this has come close on the heels of the African Union peace plan that had all the ingredients to save Libya from chaos and war mongering, it needs a serious consideration. The task at hand should be to ensure humanitarian aid and assistance, as well as rehabilitation of people who have been displaced in the two-month long uprising.
Britain and France desire to upgrade NATO’s onslaught across the length and breadth of Libya is unlikely to yield the desired results. From Vietnam to Afghanistan, history is testimony to the fact that battles can only be won on the negotiating table, and Libya is no exception.
What is really surprising is the fact that no serious efforts have been made by the United Nations to bring the warring factions across for a meaningful dialogue, nor Gaddafi has been approached with a viable plan of action, which could lead to his exit and restoration of state writ.
The US obliviousness, too, is a point of concern. Having abdicating its assertive role, in military and political spheres, Washington will find it as an anti-thesis to its interests in the long run. This fluid situation on the diplomatic front can prove be a precursor for more deaths (and destruction.
Courtesy Khaleej Times