Photo: Libya Alhurra
In a client note, RBC enlists former General Charles Vyvyan to discuss the situation in Libya, and the issues currently faced by the allies operating the No-Fly Zone. There remain four principal issues beyond those associated with the immediate implementation of the measures authorised in Resolution 1973. First, a UN Resolution is designed to address a specific situation on the ground – which this one has done most effectively. But the declaration of a ceasefire by the Libyan authorities has, to a certain extent, left the allied governments high and dry without a further mandate. Gaddafi could continue to torment his people with repressive actions which fall below the UN radar and which will therefore expose the allies’ ineffectiveness.
Second, possibly as a result and as a consequence of the failure to identify, in the initial stages, a strategic aim, there will be temptations to introduce ‘mission creep’. Third, while ‘regime change’ has not been identified as an aim in the Resolution, it is anticipated that its successful implementation will necessarily mean the ejection of Gaddafi and the collapse of his regime. But has an exit strategy for Gaddafi been identified? Yes, there are prosecutions outstanding in the International Criminal Court, but there is a need to think through rather more practically if, how, and where Gaddafi and his cohorts are to go.
And finally, and perhaps most important, there will be more questions asked along the lines of ‘if Libya, why not Bahrain…..or Yemen…..wherever the population is rebelling against an authoritarian regime in its aspirations for greater freedoms, greater accountability, in short, greater ‘legitimacy’.’
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