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Libya Is No Model For Humanitarian Intervention

2646 words - 11 pages

The Arab Spring is an expression used to describe the wave of civil protests and riots that began in late 2010 across the Arab nations, forcing dictatorial regimes out of power in Tunisia, Egypt and Libya, as it rapidly spread beyond the borders of the Arab World. The common slogan during these demonstrations was; ”the people want to bring down the regime.” (As translated from Arabic.) From Tunisia to Libya, the protests were instigated by the peoples’ dissatisfaction with their regimes, as a result of dictatorship, massive human rights abuse and extreme poverty. In Libya, the protest began in February, 2011 with popular uprising in Benghazi, considered to be the stronghold of opposition to the regime of deceased president, Muammer Gaddafi. The later had warned the opposition to come to the table for discussion or face ruthless suppression, a threat that was matched with gruesome assault, as the regime responded fiercely to the rebellion, resulting to untold atrocities.

The consequences of the crisis became more and more alarming, thus UN resolution 1970 and 1973 were enacted, consequently, assets of the regime were frozen, travel ban imposed on Libyan officials, an arm embargo put in place, and a no-fly-zone declared over Libya airspace. As the Humanitarian situation on the ground worsen, the need for a possible military intervention arose, to avert the situation from degenerating even further. To this regard, a series of negotiations took place at an International level. Negotiations within the European Union collapse because of opposition to any military action from some member states, particularly from the then EU president, Herman van Rompuy, who said in a press conference that, ’’we don’t live in the a colonial era any more where foreign powers intervene where they like.” The Germans were equally reluctant to send their forces to Libya. Therefore, eventhough France and Britain were strongly in favour of military intervention, the EU could not act as a body in this crisis for lack of support. There was also negotiations at the level of the UN, which adopted Resolution 1973 as a legal bases for intervention. But for the abstentions, the vote by the Security Council to adopt both resolutions, with regards to the Libyan conflict was pretty much unanimous, and was initially supported by the Arab League as well. The Security Council then agreed to impliment a no-fly-zone and ’’to take all necessary measures to protect civilians under threats of attack in the country, including Benghazi, while excluding a foreign occupation force of any form, on any part of Libyan territory.” A coalition force led by the US, Britain and France first carried out the responsibility of implimenting the no-fly-zone and launched air strikes against the Libyan regime, but later reached an agreement with NATO which took over the operation with the launching of ’’Operation Unified Protector.” The ultimate purpose of this was to save humanity in a precarious...

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