Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
July 31, 2015

How Can the World Help Libya?

Syria and Iraq have spiraled out of control, and Libya feels like it could be next on the list, now that the United States and other countries have evacuated many of their diplomats and officials amid fighting between Islamists and those opposed to them. But the rest of the world doesn’t appear eager to intervene militarily in either Syria or Iraq, and any financial aid so far has been limited. So what could be done to help Libya, then?

A Libyan presidential hopeful, Bashir Musa — he was one of seven interim prime minister candidates in the spring in a chaotic election — said in an interview with CQ Roll Call that the best way for the international community to help, barring direct military or financial aid, would be to provide  intelligence support, sanctions and international declarations of red lines.

On sanctions: “The major problem in Libya is the guerrillas. They are controlling everything,” Musa said during an interview  while in Washington, D.C. this week. “Freezing the financial sources — the leaders of the guerrillas are well known nationally and internationally.”

On international red lines: “If we have a statement from the United States, NATO, the United Nations — a statement saying that if you move weapons we will interfere — that would be making pressure,” he said, particularly if the declaration is backed by the threat of a “surgical operation” against anyone who moves weapons. “I’m quite confident that psychologically, if you address that, it will affect it more than 60 percent” of the arms transfers.

The intelligence support, he said, would involve sharing satellite data on the movement of those weapons. And if the militias are weakened, he said, it would improve the fragile government’s negotiating position with them.

“To bring people to the table, to bring them to table while they are strong, it’s not in our favor,” he said. “We have to make them weak day by day, then bring them to the table.”

It’s unclear when Musa, a businessman who is running as an independent and drew little support for interim prime minister, will get his chance to seek election for president, or how he might fare. The election date won’t be set until after a new constitution is finalized, and he is one of many seeking the job.

“There are about six million candidates,” said Karim Mezran, a senior fellow at the Atlantic Council, who added that he knew little of Musa. “Every Libyan is going around now trying to run for president.”

Other actors have ideas about what other countries can do in Libya, too. Neighboring Egypt is hinting at military intervention, for instance. Libyan Foreign Minister Mohamed Abdulaziz has requested training for Libyan security forces.

Mezran has proposed international threats in combination with deployment of an international peacekeeping force, followed by U.N.-mediated negotiations.

He recently wrote:

Despite the gravity of the situation, there is not much appetite in Western capitals for a military response to the current crisis in Libya. This reluctance is largely based on fears of anti-Western sentiments among Libyans, particularly heightened in light of the September 2012 attack on the United States mission in Benghazi. That perception is misguided. On the contrary, the Libyan people respect the United States for playing a major role in supporting Libyan independence in the 1940s, opposing Colonel Qaddafi’s dictatorship for most of his reign, and assisting rebels during the 2011 revolution.

Comments (8)

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.

author email

  1. frantterdaw

    Aug. 7, 2014
    3:59 a.m.

    I just wanted to tell anybody that might be interested in trading to go to the website Traders Superstore, I just recently bought from these guys and they are a class act, there video course really taught me a lot and their support is the best. Trading isn’t as hard as I thought it was and the money is great!

  2. henry tobias

    Aug. 7, 2014
    7:24 a.m.

    You can’t help the [*ed] Arabs, they are ALL beyond help!

  3. Anonymous

    July 12, 2015
    1:24 p.m.

    Well I truly liked studying it. This article procured by you is very effective for good planning.

  4. Anonymous

    July 21, 2015
    4:14 a.m.

    You can certainly see your skills in the work you write. The world hopes for more passionate writers like you who are not afraid to say how they believe. Always follow your heart.

  5. Anonymous

    July 24, 2015
    4:43 a.m.

    I respect your piece of work, thanks for all the interesting blog posts.

  6. Anonymous

    July 24, 2015
    8:46 p.m.

    Very interesting information!Perfect just what I was looking for!

  7. Anonymous

    July 25, 2015
    4:35 p.m.

    A formidable share, I simply given this onto a colleague who was doing a little bit evaluation on this. And he actually purchased me breakfast as a result of I found it for him.. smile. So let me reword that: Thnx for the deal with! But yeah Thnkx for spending the time to discuss this, I really feel strongly about it and love reading more on this topic. If possible, as you grow to be expertise, would you thoughts updating your weblog with more details? It is extremely helpful for me. Huge thumb up for this weblog publish!

  8. Anonymous

    July 30, 2015
    7:08 p.m.

    Hey there! This is kind of off topic but I need some help from an established blog. Is it tough to set up your own blog? I’m not very techincal but I can figure things out pretty fast. I’m thinking about setting up my own but I’m not sure where to begin. Do you have any points or suggestions? Many thanks

Sign In

Forgot password?



Receive daily coverage of the people, politics and personality of Capitol Hill.

Subscription | Free Trial

Logging you in. One moment, please...