News / USA

Possible US Attack in Libya Faces Opposition

The United States consulate in Benghazi, Libya is seen in flames during an attack that killed four U.S. staffers, including Ambassador Christopher Stevens on September 11, 2012.
The United States consulate in Benghazi, Libya is seen in flames during an attack that killed four U.S. staffers, including Ambassador Christopher Stevens on September 11, 2012.
The United States is said to be weighing the option of a military strike against those found responsible for the September 11 attack on the U.S. diplomatic mission in Benghazi, Libya that killed four American embassy personnel dead, including U.S. Ambassador Christopher Stevens.

One of the first hurdles they face is identifying who carried out the attack. The main suspects in the case, the militant Ansar al Sharia, have denied responsibility, despite witness accounts of their involvement. They are but one of dozens of militias across Libya that lie beyond government control.

But some analysts warn of the consequences to the fledgling Libyan state should the United States intervene.  The former opposition spokesman during last year's uprising, Mustafa Gheriani, argues any justice must be served by Libya itself.

“If you want to be a country of law and not to be like Afghanistan or Pakistan, then we need to take matters through the proper channels," Gheriani said. "It might be later date if there is a question about their strength at the present time, but definitely not to have anything irrational taking place at this moment.”

The compound attack plays large in the American presidential campaign, raising concerns the United States could act soon.  But Washington also has longer term plans in Libya, including training a core Libyan military group aimed at reining in the militias.

Political analyst Said Sadek of the American University in Cairo says a danger of this tack is it could make the Libyan government appear a puppet of the Americans.  It also would negate a key point of the NATO mission that helped bring the new government to power - keeping foreign troops off Libyan soil.

Sadek believes a faster and more practical solution would be a political effort to unite competing militias against extremists - a practice dubbed al sahawat, or awakening - that the United States tried in Iraq.

“It will take a long time to prepare and get a professional force ready for action and stability in the country," said Sadek. "So the only option for them in the short term, in the immediate urgency of the matter, is to try al sahawat experience from Iraq and try to apply it in Libya,” he said.

Libya's prime minister-designate has vowed to tackle the security problem, calling it the nation's foremost problem.
Ali Zeidan said earlier this week the key will be an inclusive government.

But Islamist militias are not the only groups whose role is threatening to undermine Libya's democratic future.

Human Rights Watch Wednesday presented evidence of a massacre last year of men captured with ousted leader Moammar Gadhafi by then-rebel militias.

The rights group's emergencies director, Peter Bouckaert, said despite promises by the Libyan government to investigate, there is no evidence they have.

“They have to try to bring all of these different militias under centralized control to stop them from committing abuses but also to investigate them and to bring them to account when serious abuses are committed," Bouchaert said.  "They fought a revolution for a better Libya where people could live in security and free of the kind of fear that they lived under Gadhafi."

He argues the greatest challenge in any post-conflict situation is to try to move from the rule of the gun to the rule of law.  

One year after the death of Gadhafi, that challenge remains undiminished.

You May Like

India PM Modi's party distances itself from religious conversions

BJP under fire for being slow to rein in hardline affiliate groups allegedly trying to promote a Hindu-dominant agenda by luring Muslims and Christians to convert to Hinduism More

Anti-Whaling Group Found in Contempt of Court

Radical environmentalists who threw acid and smoke bombs at Japanese whalers in the waters off Antarctica continue their campaign to disrupt Japan's annual whale hunt More

UN's Ban Urges End to Discrimination Against Ebola Workers

Ban was speaking in Guinea on the second day of a whistle-stop tour aimed at thanking healthcare workers of the countries at the heart of the epidemic More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: musawi melake
October 18, 2012 6:15 AM
It's a stern warning that whatever the aims and intention the US had in toppling the old regime, the new found leaders will not allow the US touch any Lybians even when they have committed crimes against the US, a very good policy in deed to be repeated over and over again in Syria and elsewhere.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Sudan School Becomes Target of Aerial Attacksi
X
December 19, 2014 12:45 AM
The school dropout rate is at an all-time high in Sudan's South Kordofan state because many schools have been destroyed during the three-year civil war between the government and SPLA-N rebel forces. Adam Bailes visited Sudan's Nuba Mountains' region and reports many children are simply too scared to go to school
Video

Video Sudan School Becomes Target of Aerial Attacks

The school dropout rate is at an all-time high in Sudan's South Kordofan state because many schools have been destroyed during the three-year civil war between the government and SPLA-N rebel forces. Adam Bailes visited Sudan's Nuba Mountains' region and reports many children are simply too scared to go to school
Video

Video VOA Reporter Tours Devastated Peshawar School

Islamist militants wearing military uniforms and strapped with explosives attacked a military run school Tuesday in the northwestern Pakistani city of Peshawar. At least 141 people were killed in the horrific attack, most of them young students. VOA reporter Ayaz Gul visited the devastated school and attended the funeral of the principal who courageously tried to save her students from the deadly attack.
Video

Video Nigerians Fleeing Boko Haram Languish in Camp Near Capital

In its five-year effort to impose Islamic law in northeastern Nigeria, the Boko Haram extremist group has killed thousands of people and forced hundreds of thousands to flee. Some of those who ran for their lives now live in squalor on the edges of the capital, Abuja. Chris Stein reports for VOA.
Video

Video Putin Says Russian Economy Will Emerge Stronger

Russian President Vladimir Putin has said his country's sinking economy will not only recover but also become stronger, despite falling oil prices and Western sanctions over Ukraine. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports.
Video

Video Detained Turkish Journalists Follow Teachings of US-Based Preacher

The Turkish government’s jailing of critical journalists has sparked international condemnation and is being seen as an effort to undermine the followers of an ailing Turkish preacher based in the United States. VOA religion reporter Jerome Socolovsky has more.
Video

Video ‘Anti-Islamization’ Marches Increase Tensions In Germany

Anti-immigrant rallies in Germany have been building in recent weeks, peaking Monday night in the city of Dresden where tens of thousands of people turned out to demonstrate against what they call the ‘Islamization’ of the West. Germany has offered asylum to more Syrian refugees than any other country, and this appears to have set off the protests. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Aceh Rebuilt Decade After Tsunami, But Scars Remain

On December 26, 2004 there was an earthquake in the Indian Ocean so powerful it caused the Earth’s axis to wobble a few centimeters. Onshore on the island of Sumatra, the resulting tsunami was devastating. A decade later, VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Banda Aceh, Indonesia, where although there is little remaining evidence of the physical devastation, the psychological scars among survivors remain.
Video

Video Refugees Living in Kenya Long for Peace in the Home Countries

Kenya is host to numerous refugees seeking safe haven from conflict. Immigrants from Somalia face challenges in their new lives in Kenya. Ahead of International Migrants Day (December 18) Lenny Ruvaga has more for VOA News from the Kenyan capital.

All About America

AppleAndroid