Tag Archives: UNSMIL

Libya: undermined by the world’s mistakes on IS

It is unnerving, sometimes, just how swiftly irony operates. Last week, I criticised the international community for its continued freeze (now into its sixth year) of Libya’s sovereign investment fund, which has prevented every single democratically-elected government in Libyan history (a total of three, to date) from rebuilding after a war in which NATO played a part in smashing its infrastructure into rubble. It also noted that a new ‘government’ – the ‘Government of National … Continue reading

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Libya, the international community and the risk of spiralling chaos

On Saturday night, the body charged with delivering a new Libyan government announced it had ‘a green light’ for the government to start work, and that it intended to take power in Libya. There were only two problems. First, it made the announcement from Tunisia, where it sits because Libya’s two powerless and illegitimate governments, backed by heavily-armed and ruthless illegal militias, remain in Libya itself. Second, it actually had nothing like a ‘green light’ … Continue reading

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Routine Atrocity: Death at sea, in Syria, Libya and beyond…

The song Nature Boy by Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds begins with the protagonist watching the news and seeing: ‘…ordinary slaughter, I saw some routine atrocity’. The point is reasonably clear – that faced with continual exposure to the horrendous, even the worst things we could possibly imagine become somehow run-of-the mill, or commonplace. I only mention it because in a conversation with my partner yesterday I almost – though not quite – answered … Continue reading

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Reality check: Europe, Libya, refugees and the nature of truth…

The third section of this four-part blog, all of which was written on Saturday 23 January, deals with the United Nations’ proposal for a ‘Government of National Accord’ which is – as I point out – not a government, not ‘national’ in the sense of belonging to or being ‘Libyan’, and is not the focus of any ‘accord’ within Libya. Today (Monday 25th January), the Libyan House of Representatives (HoR) – one of Libya’s two … Continue reading

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National Discord: IS, and the international community’s plan to strike Libya

On Monday 4th January, IS opened a salvo of attacks on Libyan oil ports and terminals. The week-long operation (though the vast majority of the activity was finished in the first three days) was the start of what many people have portrayed as – and IS itself would like you to believe is – an ominous and threatening ‘new initiative’ by the terror group.

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Disgrace: politics and murder in Libya, Egypt, Turkey and Syria

‘Disgrace; noun. Loss of reputation or respect as the result of a dishonourable action.’ ‘Disgrace; verb. Bring shame or discredit on.’

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The United Nations: Syria, and the urgent need for change

I began the week with a public talk I gave about Libya and the wider international refugee crisis, in part to publicise my book, The Toss of a Coin: voices from a modern crisis.

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A dark Eid – and the seeds of future light

Last Thursday (24th September) saw the beginning of Eid al-Adha, the Muslim festival which celebrates the commitment of Abraham to sacrifice his son* to God (read also Yahweh and/or Allah – such is the nature of the ‘children of the book’), and the deity’s last-minute decision to grant a stay of execution.

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False Positives: ignoring the lessons of Calais

Early in June, I wrote a piece on this site entitled ‘Drawbridges’. In it, I compared the increasing trend of governments to respond to international crises by attempting to shut themselves off from the world around them, to the Mediaeval practice of building castles, digging moats and pulling up drawbridges. This was intended as a convenient metaphor, but as I have noted several times, the actual behaviour of nations in the last couple of months … Continue reading

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Hijack

In a previous post, I wrote that I hoped the HoR would reconsider its decision to reject a UN proposal for a new system of governance in Libya. Three weeks later came a reminder that we should be careful what we wish for… The Libyan Political Agreement (Draft VI) was proposed by the United Nations Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL) on 8 June.

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