Magazine article New African

The Libyan Angle: The Almost Complete Breakdown of Law and Order in Libya Following the Fall of Muammar Gaddafi Has Created the Perfect Environment for Human Rights Abuses and Slavery

Magazine article New African

The Libyan Angle: The Almost Complete Breakdown of Law and Order in Libya Following the Fall of Muammar Gaddafi Has Created the Perfect Environment for Human Rights Abuses and Slavery

Article excerpt

The Libyan capital city of Tripoli was once a thriving commercial hub and the oil-rich north African country is a bygone symbol of relative stability and success.

Tripoli's streets are now lined with people queuing for basic amenities. Food and petrol are scarce, and there is poor access to public services, water and power as the country has been torn apart by civil war. The currency --the dinar--has lost value and infrastructure is crumbling.

Political alliances are broken as quickly as they are formed and an informal economy run by gangs and militias has taken precedence. These are the conditions under which slavery and forced labour have emerged in Libya as the rule of law has taken a backseat to rival government factions vying for power. Feeding into this lawlessness is a mix of European and African realities and policies, which are working to trap migrants in Libya.

Unfortunately, this mix of unruliness and flawed policy is creating the perfect ecosystem for slavery to flourish. As each branch pushes and pulls on the situation, the safety of African migrants becomes increasingly compromised.

A tale of two governments

The situation in Libya has been a chaotic mix of fundamentalist groups, opposing governments and failed peace deals since the fall of Muammar Gaddafi in 2011.

The first post-Gaddafi interim government, the National Transitional Council of Libya, failed to regenerate the economy and secure the country, and was replaced in 2012's elections by the General National Congress (GNC).

In 2014 the GNC, whose mandate had expired, refused to step down and mass protests erupted across the country. An election followed shortly after and the GNC handed power over to the House of Representatives (HoR).

Khalifa Haftar, a military defector from the Gaddafi era who commands the armed forces loyal to the HoR, then launched a military operation against Islamist groups in Benghazi, in the east. Fighting spread to Tripoli and Haftar's troops--known as the Libyan National Army (LNA)--were pitted against a coalition of fighters known as the Libya Dawn Coalition.

The HoR moved to the eastern city of Tobruk, where they continue to govern today. The GNC was then reinstated in Tripoli, leaving two opposing governments: the GNC in Tripoli and the HoR in Tobruk. In 2015, a UN peace deal was signed proposing a unified government called the Government of National Accord (GNA), which replaced the GNC in Tripoli. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.