NATO in Libya – UN And ICC Risk Becoming Irrelevant to Africans

Repeating the falsehood that the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) exercised its military capability in Libya to protect civilians against attack by the military of Gadahfi regime did not make the assertion truthful when reasonable people around the world examined all the facts. Additionally, repeating NATO’s false premise has not made intervention in Libya and brutal murder of Col Gadahfi either legal or legitimate in the context of international law.

Rather, the chances may be that heads of government of NATO member-countries and their outside allies must be ready to exculpate themselves at the International Criminal Court (ICC) from charges of willful overthrow and assassination of the head of state of an African country, Muammar Gadhafi.

NATO Air Force attack supported organized Libyan civilian forces engaged in armed hostilities in opposition to the Gadahfi regime for eight months. The hostilities had the character of a civil war, culminating in the assassination of Gadahfi in cold blood through the instrumentality of NATO’s air force.

Considering the glee and euphoria with which popular media outlets in the West reported the internal conflict and hostilities in Libya, it is tempting for one to hazard a question regarding the source of NATO’s actual motivation for the intervention in Libya as it happened.

In the context of NATO feigning concern for civilian population of Libya, it is defensible to question why the organization did not intervene in South Africa during the period of apartheid when the Afrikaans regime unleashed brutality against the African population. NATO was a no show in Sudan to protect the African population in the South of the country against the brutalities of the Khartoum government. In the event of genocide hostilities in Rwanda in 1994, NATO was nowhere near. The world is waiting to see when NATO will decide to protect civilian population in the Great Lakes region of Africa to secure the peace and protect Democratic Republic of Congo against foreign predators plundering its mineral resources. Since NATO had not seen reason to respond to other critical internal conflicts in Africa as cited here, it takes a stretch of one’s imagination to fathom its “real” reason for the decision to engage in Libya.

Until NATO provides satisfactory explanation for its intervention in Libya, African people would have reason to believe that the organization has engaged in aiding and abetting imperialist forces with neo-colonialist intentions in Africa.

One could only be suspicious that given the downturn of European economies forces must be at work in support of Europe’s return to its imperialist past. Nothing will rescue Europe from its current economic quagmire than to have unfettered access to African resources and raw materials. It is not sheer co-incidence that Libya is oozing sweet crude oil that the Europeans and United States need desperately.

If the ICC do not initiate steps to investigate and prosecute President Nicolas Sarkozy of France for dumping arms in Libya, that court must consider itself irrelevant to Africans. ICC has become notorious for focusing its prosecutorial power primarily on African heads of state by preferring frivolous charges against some of them to satisfy the whims and caprices of world imperialist powers. Russia and China noted that intervention of NATO in Libya violated provisions of UN resolutions 1970 and 1973. Leaders of African Union have pointed out that NATO’s campaign risked replicating “Somaliasation” in Libya.

While NATO Air Force rained mayhem on the government and people of Libya, ICC had the effrontery to issue warrant for arrest of Gadahfi and his children. That was an example of the frivolousness of ICC’s behavior towards Africans. Regarding the bombardment of Libya, it is defensible to question the fairness about ICC’s decision to arrest Gadahfi. Shouldn’t the ICC have arrested leaders of the oil-hungry world imperialist forces that attacked the people of Libya and Gadahfi, head of state and government of the sovereign nation of Libya? Didn’t Gadahfi have a duty to defend the sovereignty of the nation of Libya against external attack?

Dr. Ron Paul, Republican candidate for president in the 2012 United States elections, has repeatedly stated that the United States constitution does not grant authority to the government to intervene in internal affairs of any country.

France is broke and short of resources and risks becoming bankrupt without access to African resources that it had during a long period of European colonization of Africa. Towards re-colonization of Africa, France has been fomenting confusion, atrocities and promoting internal conflicts in some of its former colonial holdings in Africa such as Cote d’Ivoire, Burkina Faso and Cameroon. Currently, it seems France is getting help from the United States and NATO to have access to Libya’s oil and cash reserves. Therefore, it appears the moves by ICC in Libya, added to the consternation of forces to deprive people of Libya of their oil and money resources.

Meanwhile, prosecutors at ICC have appeared unconcerned when leaders of world powers in the West such as Britain and France commit atrocities in the international arena through unwarranted wars as well as other forms of irresponsible actions or inactions against humanity. In this instance, events and outcomes of ‘Katrina’ submergence of New Orleans, Abu Ghraib, Bagram and Guantanamo come to mind.

While NATO claimed the false premise of protecting a section of the Libyan population against the Gadhafi regime, France kept dumping arms unilaterally in the hands of another section of Libyan civilian population.

For many years, African governments had campaigned against infiltration of arms into the continent from outside. Infiltration of arms into Africa had encouraged local conflicts and hostilities in various societies, drawing attention and resources away from needed development. Therefore, doling arms to a civilian population in Libya constituted an action for which the ICC must indict Nicolas Sarkozy of France.

Instead of indicting Sarkozy, the ICC set its eyes on Gadahfi and his children. Gadahfi had a duty to protect his regime against chaos and conflict sponsored by forces of economic imperialism. Clearly, Gadhafi’s regime had a duty also to protect the territorial integrity of Libya against external attack.

In the process of considering intervening in Libya, the UN as well as NATO and its reactionary allies ignored overtures from the African Union, AU, the organization representing majority of Africans. At the end of June 2011, a spokesperson for AU, speaking from Equatorial Guinea, pointed out the risk of a number of problems linked to the unilateral airdrop of arms in Libya by France. The problems the AU spokesperson listed included, “The risk of civil war, risk of partitioning of the country, the risk of ‘Somaliasation’ of the country, risk of having arms everywhere … and risk with terrorism.” The spokesperson raised also the specter of spillover effects of outcomes in Libya into neighboring countries, BBC News reported.

The AU, on March 10, 2011, empanelled five African presidents “to mediate an end to bloodshed in Libya,” online Times live of South Africa reported. A spokesperson for South Africa said, “South Affrica viewed the situation in Libya as grave and wanted Muammar Gaddafi and the rebels fighting to end his four decades in power to cease hostilities.” A Libyan radio report suspected members of the al-Qaeda organization fighting alongside the anti-Gadahfi Libyan forces.

The UN-NATO war machinery group shoved the AU presidential peace mediators panel aside and rather, listened to the advice of backward thinkers like David Cameron, David Owen and William Hague to carry on with air attack on Libya.

France has not denied dropping arms at a civilian populated area of Libyan territory where there had been on-going civil war. Who knows what Sarkozy has tried to achieve in Africa. In the final analysis, armed Libyan civilians murdered Gadahfi brutally with help of NATO air attack. Had NATO and France done the bidding of the UN? Who are the good people now in the Libyan contradiction?


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Articles by: Yaw Asare Adu-Otu

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