15/04/2011

Get out Gaddafi!

It is very difficult nowadays to predict the length as the outcome of the Libyan crisis. On the ground, the military situation remains very uncertain and the risks of a quagmire is becoming more real. On the international scene, the actors involved – mainly the NATO countries and Qatar supported the United Nations Secretary-General – have struggled to agree at their meeting in Doha on possible military options in the framework of Security Council of the United Nations’ 1973 resolution to end the crisis.

At the same time, a peaceful resolution of conflict appears increasingly unlikely and the crisis has now reached a point of no return. As pointed out by Nicolas Sarkozy, David Cameron and Barack Obama, « Libya has no future with Gaddafi ». We can talk for hours if this statement, as the proposal of directly arming or funding the rebels, is outside the scope of the UN resolution, the departure of Gaddafi seems indeed the best and most realistic solution for the future of Libya and its people.

Even if you do not know any of the « National Committee of Transition » and its intentions, it seems useful to recall briefly that the record of 42 years of unchallenged rule of Colonel Gaddafi is quite catastrophic, either in terms of human rights, individual and collective freedoms, economic development or foreign policy – he has long supported international terrorism, invaded northern Chad and helped militarily Idi Amin.

For these reasons, the entire international community – and thus Arab countries, African countries and the BRICs – must renounce support uncontrollable Gaddafi. The Arab League, which had approved first the UN resolution, changed its mind, as expressed by its president Amr Moussa, Qatar is the only one that participates in the international coalition applying the 1973 resolution.

Other Arab countries, even those who are in a process of democratic transition, should do the same, as they did during the first Gulf war vis-à-vis Saddam Hussein. It is their duty to take a much more active role in the Libyan crisis and therefore act in the sense of Gaddafi departure to prevent a bloody civil war on their doorstep. Similarly, some African countries must absolutely call back the mercenaries sent to Libya in exchange for help from Gaddafi

The presence of these countries in the coalition further isolates Qaddafi and would prohibit him to present this international offensive as a western desire to take control of Libyan oil resources.Deprived of external support, its isolation can only encourage defections within his own camp and thus encourage his departure. Unfortunately a wounded animal is always dangerous, and whatever are the options chosen by each one, the bloodbath promised by Qaddafi remains an option.

Geoffroy d’Aspremont