Libya, a once-beautiful land on the Mediterranean Sea, has been engaged in conflict since the downfall of dictator Muammar Gaddafi in 2011. The West has a great deal to account for when it comes to their involvement in Libya and the collapse of the Gaddafi regime; they promised the Libyan people freedom and democracy, but they instead received little more than lives filled with horror and carnage for which the West has never been held accountable.
The latest troubles in Libya involve a military surge conducted by Field Marshal Khalifa Haftar, the commander of the Libyan National Army. Reports are developing out of southern Libya claiming his men are running wild, plundering villages and kidnapping local tribesmen.
On the 26th of January the tribesmen turned to the airwaves to broadcast a statement. They described the unit led by Haftar and asserted his soldiers had been kidnapping young men from the town of Sebha. The tribal elders have criticized the attacks and called for the release of the captives. They’ve demanded the looted property be returned and payment made in recompense for the damages caused by the Haftar’s forces. It’s worth noting that in southern Libya, there are several tribal families that engage heavily in the kidnapping trade. These tribes often work as smugglers and raiders themselves.
Social media footage has emerged showing Haftar’s men assaulting Abdelmajid Othman Madi and looting his home. Madi is a Gaddafi loyalist who previously denounced Haftar in a video, condemning the entry of his forces in the south.
Haftar and his army have begun seizing control of the most violent part of the country. The lawless south is by far the most troubling for Libya, as it hosts several terrorist groups and serious organized crime syndicates. These groups have supported war throughout sub-Saharan Africa and present a tremendous risk to the stability of the Libyan economy.
Haftar’s clearance operation in the south could prove effective if his forces manage to establish control and reinstate law and order in the province. This would entice foreign corporations and organizations, including those in the oil and gas industry, to return to the country and initiate operations. Just a few miles from the town of Sebha, three international personnel were kidnapped from the oil fields. That prompted all others in the area to discontinue operations in the region. This could be the prime reason to commit the army to the region: to take control and safeguard the corporations willing to return to the region so as to generate cash flow again and stabilize the Libyan economy.