Warnings of Civil War, 'Critical Plight of Civilians' in Libya

As instability continues to grip Libya, officials are sounding alarm over the deteriorating situation that could lead towards civil war in the country, where destabilization, critics charge, has deepened since NATO’s bombing in 2011.

“The situation in Libya is complicated,” Ibrahim Dabbashi, Libya’s United Nations Ambassador, told the UN Security Council Wednesday. “Yet the situation since the 13th of July has become even more complicated and the situation might unravel into a full-blown civil war if we’re not very careful and wise in our actions.”

On July 13, as Reuters reports,

Yet, as author and professor of international studies at Trinity College Vijay Prashad told Democracy Now! Monday, “This violence has been ongoing since 2011,” when the U.S. backed a campaign to oust Muammar Gaddafi. He continued:

Prashad noted that he was against the NATO bombing campaign, in part because it would lead to chaos and destruction that leaves a country little hope of having the ability to forge a democracy.

Similarly, Jesse Franzblau, policy analyst and freedom of information activist working with the National Security Archive, wrote in June:

Prashad adds later in his interview with Democracy Now! that

Humanitarian concerns were mentioned at the Security Council meeting, when outgoing United Nations envoy to Libya Tarek Mitri stressed the disproportionate toll violence has taken on the civilian population.

“There is a general deterioration of living conditions. Food, fuel, water and electricity are in short supply. The departure of foreign medical staff and shortages in medical supplies has rendered the plight of civilians more critical,” Mitri said, adding that “no military solution is possible.”

According to reporting by the New York Times this week, senior U.S. officials accused Egypt and the United Arab Emirates, both U.S. allies, of carrying out two airstrikes in recent days targeting militia groups vying for control over Tripoli. The strikes, the Times reports, mark “a major escalation of a regional power struggle set off by Arab Spring revolts.”

Hassan Morajea reported for Middle East Eye earlier this week:

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But that situation is in flux, as Prime Minister Abdullah al-Thinni announced on Friday his resignation.  His cabinet issued a statement to the new parliament stating that it hopes the new body will create “a new government that represents all Libyan factions without exclusion.” BBC News adds:

The Associated Press also reports Friday that militias in Tripoli had accepted a cease-fire call by the UN.

Libya Body Count estimates that over 450 people have been killed as a result of the violence in August alone, and in its briefer on the situation in the country, the Guardian reports that the “conflict is growing ever more savage and civilian casualties are mounting.”

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