Libya crisis: UN warns battle for Tripoli is 'start of a bloody war
The time in Tripoli's approaching eight thirty six where the UN on void Libya has warned that the battle for the capital is just the start of a long and bloody war. It began at the beginning of April, when a military leader general Khalifa, half, tar, who's allies to rebels seeking to overturn the internationally. Recognized government launched an offensive on the city will since then more than five hundred people have died and tens of thousands of fled from their homes and things appear to be getting worse with both sides, receiving military supplies from overseas with Turkey backing the government of fires Al Sarraj and Jordan, supporting the rebels or the UN envoy, Gazon Salma is calling for those weapons supplies to stop. Joining me to discuss is Mary FitzGerald, who's a researcher and journalist specializing in Libya. Welcome to the program. Mary, what do you make of what Salam, I had to say. While it was a very powerful speech to the Security Council fifteen minutes long, and you could see the, the frustration on Salama's part is been the UN special envoy to Libyan average just over two years. He has been trying to get a u n political process aimed at resolving, the simmering conflict in Libya, get that up and running. And I think we shouldn't forget that the day that Khalifa after launch this offensive on Tripoli was actually the same day that the UN secretary, General Antonio Gutierrez was intrepid to try and give a fresh impetus to that UN a process. So the symbolism could not have been more striking an offensive launched by a man who Khalifa after has tried to undermine that UN process since it begun, late two thousand fourteen so I think Salamis frustration was evident in his speech yesterday. But also his warning was was stark about where the fighting that was. Triggered by half tres offensive may lead Libya, and there was one line that stuck out for me. He said the full civil war is not inevitable, but it may occur because of the will of some parties and the inaction of others. And I think that reference to inaction has to basically be a message, I think to e you Member States because what happens in Libya does not stay in Libya. And it has an impact on Europe that it doesn't say on countries that are fueling this conflict, particularly on how star side, the, the UAE and Saudi Arabia in the Gulf. And then on the other side as, as you mentioned Turkey has been supplying weapons to, to the US government in, in Tripoli. And so I think that, that, that reference to inaction and given the we've seen an inability on the used side to forge more robust collective response to. This guy during conflict, I think is pertinent, can you give us a short, but Reese a lesson in recent history Mary, because obviously in the time since the full of, of, of the Gadhafi, regime, Libya has been going through a journey of turbulence, but in more recent years at certainly been overshadowed on the world stage in terms of the world's attention by by, by Syria. What's been happening that brought Libya to this point while since the fall of Gaddafi in two thousand eleven Libyan had a very shaky at transition and it has held number of elections. It's experiment in, in democracy. If you like for forty two years of Gaddafi's dictatorship, it, it, it didn't know democracy, but essentially Libya, since two thousand eleven has been roiled by m s struggle over control of the country's resources Libya's home to Africa's biggest oil reserves. The conflict in Libya is not ideal. Logical and it is a greedy scramble for the country's resources in two thousand fourteen Khalifa after was accused of attempting a military coup, and he that accumulation that belief that after seeks to impose himself as military ruler autocrat in Libya has been a key driver of the conflict from two thousand fourteen until the present day and tops are I think with this gambled try and take Tripoli. There was a lot of wishful thinking in some international circles about how after his intentions about the possibility of bringing him into a UN process aimed at creating an inclusive civil government in, in Libya.