Sat Feb 29, 2020 9:47
The Plight of Civilians in Libya
TEHRAN (FNA)- Civilians are bearing the brunt of Western military intervention and war in Libya. They have also been bogged down in the middle of influence war between the mostly Tripoli-confined Fayez al-Sarraj's GNA and Tobruk-based Libyan-American citizen Khalifa Haftar-led LNA.

The chronic armed conflicts in most parts of the country since the killing of Gaddafi has displaced more than 300,000 civilians and killed thousands of people. While global foes Russia and the US are at odds in Libya too with the former supporting the GNA and the latter LNA, over Libya's proximity to its shores, the European Union is also struggling to find a unified approach to the Libyan catastrophe over its wider concerns that France was providing military support to the warlord Haftar.

The Berlin Conference on Libya last month, to forge a ceasefire agreement between the two main warring parties, also conceded that the instability, foreign interference, weapon proliferation and economy of predation bowled threats to international peace and security. But since the two vying sides were irreconcilable and have effectually split the state into East and West zones, not much optimism can be laid on the effort either.

Regional divergence is another challenge for an enforceable truce in Libya. After Turkey signed two agreements with GNA in November, a mutual defense treaty and a maritime deal, four other Mediterranean nations – France, Greece, Egypt and Cyprus – strongly condemned the Turkish move and called the pacts "null and void" claiming that they violate the territorial rights and undermined regional stability.

Following Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan's admission that his military had suffered some losses in Libya but "neutralized" close to 100 fighters there – armed confrontations could escalate in the hapless country and can bully Geneva peace talks to implement a long-lasting ceasefire.

The signs of bigger tensions are already being materialized as LNA claimed of killing 16 Turkish fighters and a frigate near the port of Tripoli. Ankara's military actions are not viewed positively in the ranks of Erdogan supporters. Turkey's former foreign minister Yassar Yakis recently cautioned him about the dangers of his policies in Syria and Libya.

It is quite clear that the snowballing process – which started off in Tunisia, expanded to Egypt and finally plagued Libya – did not lead to the social improvements, many Libyans would have hoped. The people in the country would be pressed to believe that they were more secure and well-off during Gaddafi government.

There is some strong social statistics to make them think in those lines. Under the Gaddafi rule, the living standard of the people in Libya was among the best in Africa and they were enjoying free electricity, medical care and education and subsidized housing and transport. The ongoing conflicts have stolen food and money from them as well as put their life security on the brink of jeopardy apart from making them homeless.

In the midst of deteriorating economic and peace conditions in Libya, international stance of employing peaceful means to resolve Libyan conflict once again proved vindicated. The world’s warning – if military action brings disaster to civilians and causes humanitarian crisis in Libya then it runs counter to the purpose of the UN resolution – is as real today as it was about 10 years ago.

The 5+5 Libyan Joint Military Commission dialogue should only put into effect a durable ceasefire and restore security to civilians if the regional and global players respect the territorial integrity of Libya and refrain from meddling into the beleaguered country’s internal affairs.





Bottom top
Rice Cultivation in Central Iran

TEHRAN (FNA)- Cultivation of rice has begun in the Southern province of Khuzestan. The photo depicts paddy fields in the city of Sedeh Lenjan, Isfahan province, Iran. [PHOTOS]
COVID-19: Living in Age of Social Distancing

TEHRAN (FNA)- As countries around the world continue to grapple with the novel coronavirus pandemic and how to safely reopen after lockdowns, public and private spaces are changing, in some cases dramatically. [PHOTOS]
France: Nokia Employees Protest Job Cuts in Paris

TEHRAN (FNA)- Hundreds of employees of the Nokia site of Lannion protested in Paris against planned job cuts announced by the Finnish telecommunications group. [VIDEO]
Serbia: Tear Gas Flies at Belgrade's Mass Protest

TEHRAN (FNA)- Thousands of demonstrators clashed with riot police in Belgrade for the second night in a row on Wednesday during anti-government protests sparked by coronavirus measures. Protesters began gathering in front of the National Assembly where some threw projectiles at riot police who replied with tear gas. [VIDEO]
Confirmed Worldwide COVID-19 Death Toll Passes 552,000

TEHRAN (FNA)- Globally, more than 552,000 have died from COVID-19, the disease caused by the new coronavirus, while the number of confirmed infections has surpassed 12.1 million and more than 7 million people have recovered. [PHOTOS]
Survivors of Boko Haram on Living with Trauma

TEHRAN (FNA)- More than 60,000 Nigerians live in Minawao refugee camp in Cameroon after fleeing from Boko Haram. Many have PTSD and other mental health conditions because of what they endured. [PHOTOS]
Western Humanitarianism at the OPCW Is Hypocritical

TEHRAN (FNA)- Western efforts to blame Syria for alleged chemical attacks in 2017 have led to a new action by the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW).
Tokyo's Daily Coronavirus Cases Hit New Record of 243

TEHRAN (FNA)- The number of daily new coronavirus infections in Tokyo reached a new single-day record of 243 on Friday, Gov. Yuriko Koike said, marking the second consecutive day of over 200 new cases in the capital.
Iran, Russia Discuss Bilateral Ties, Regional Developments

TEHRAN (FNA)- Iranian Ambassador to Moscow Kazzem Jalali and Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Mikhail Bogdanov in a meeting in Moscow discussed mutual cooperation and the latest developments in the Middle East region.
Yemen Vows Retaliation After Saudi Arabia Destroys Civilian Vessels

TEHRAN (FNA)- The spokesman for Yemen’s Armed Forces censured Saudi Arabia for waging a war against the impoverished Arab country over destruction of two civilian vessels in the strategic Red Sea, vowing that Yemeni troops and allied fighters will respond to the act of aggression.
UN Chief: COVID-19 Could Force 45 mln into Poverty in LatAm, Caribbean

TEHRAN (FNA)- The COVID-19 pandemic could push 45 million people from the middle classes into poverty in already economically troubled Latin America and the Caribbean, the United Nations said on Thursday.
Deputy FM: Iran Not Surprised by Western Concerns over Strategic Ties with China

TEHRAN (FNA)- Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister Gholamreza Ansari said it is typical of the western powers to show concern over Tehran's strategic cooperation with Beijing.
Iran to Retaliate Once Foreign Hand Proven in Natanz Incident

TEHRAN (FNA)- Foreign Ministry Spokesman Seyed Abbas Mousavi said it is early to talk on the cause of the recent blast at Natanz nuclear facility, and warned that Tehran would show severe reaction if it is proven that foreigners were involved in the incident.
Sources Say UK Has Opted Out of EU Coronavirus Vaccine Programme

TEHRAN (FNA)- The UK government has rejected the chance to join the European Union’s coronavirus vaccine programme due to concerns over “costly delays”, according to sources.
German Ministers Rebuff US Invitation to Attend G7

TEHRAN (FNA)- Two key German government ministers have declined an American invitation to attend a G7 meeting in Washington, Der Spiegel news magazine quoted German and US government circles as saying on Thursday.