Thursday, 16 May 2013

Libya: Western concern

Even if the explosion was an accident, the blast is yet another indication of the chaos and insecurity that is gripping the country. Libya seems to be gradually unravelling, as the extent of the government's lack of power is becoming increasingly apparent. Recent events have shown all the more clearly that the central authorities are almost completely impotent in the face of other localised powers that plainly have their own very different agendas.

The situation is certainly deemed serious enough for the US to prepare itself for the worst. Pentagon spokesman George Little announced this week that it had transferred 500 US marines from Spain to the NATO base at Sigonella in Sicily to be ready for rapid deployment if necessary.

Meanwhile, the US State Department announced this week that it had ordered the departure of a number of non-essential staff from Tripoli. State Department spokesperson, Patrick Ventrell, declared, “In light of the current unsettled conditions around major anti-government demonstrations in Tripoli, the under-secretary for management has approved the ordered departure of non-emergency personnel from Libya."

The British Embassy similarly pulled out a number of its staff on a temporary basis. The British Council also decided to close its office until the situation stabilised.

All this bodes very badly for Libya and its efforts to put the country back on a normal footing.

For more news and expert analysis about Libya, please see Libya Focusand Libya Politics & Security.

© 2013 Menas Associates

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