Is strongman authoritarianism sometimes proves better than the model of democracy? Of course, any liberal freethinking peace-loving person will say no, but what if I say yes, especially by seeing a catastrophe of “Libya “- the oil-rich African nation, ones used to be a thriving economy and known for a high standard of living under its dictator “Col Muammar al-Gaddafi”- who was as declared cruel, human rights abuser, crusher of free freedom and threat to world peace by the western friends who found him unfit in their model of liberal democracy. Western powers backed the “Arab Spring” in 2011- a movement to make the Arab world free from nasty dictators from Tunisia to Libya and to turn the middle east into a fancy democracy like America. Is the dream of fancy democracy achieved after almost a decade end of Arab spring? answers lie in the in 2020’s Libya
Ok, take it as what believed that Libya before Arab spring was under a brutal dictator like Gaddafi, true, but it was too a booming well-stabled economy, there was no unrest, no endless wars, and no under ugly militias, no drones were flying in the skies to bomb the cities. Post-Gaddafi Libya is all about broken dreams of actual democracy and stability and now finds itself under the under siege of fringed militias, jihadi outfits and a place where everyone wants to get their hands on to exploit its oil and gas treasures.
Libya in current under the rule of many stakeholders with their respected claims first is the Libyan capital Tripoli and its surrounding parts which ruled by UN-backed government under the leadership of “Fayez al- Serraj” belongs National Accord (GNA), they defending the Captial from the stronger challenger who knocking the door name “General Khalifa Haftar” ones a robust commander of Libyan Army and then a crusader in the rebellion against the Gaddafi in 2011. He rises to popularity from this role in eliminating the Islamist groups in the city of Benghazi. He controls the east and south parts of the country. He also controls several main oil fields.
The UN-backed Fayez al Serraj government in Tripoli is supported by a foreign power like Turkey and Khalifa Haftar is constantly backing by powers like Russia, Egypt, and UAE. As everything stands General Haftar and forces sitting close to Tripoli and waiting for the right time towards the final march to siege the capital.
European nations to trying their contribution to solving the conflict, a recent “Peace Talk held in Berlin” with all stakeholders was ended on agreeing to stop arming the combatants but nothing was substantive agree on the issue of ceasefire and much derailed the possibility of peace talks with the only reason- everyone keeps very high stakes in Libya.
One of the major stakeholders is Russia- excited from its success in Syria where is almost freed the region from American control and saved the” Bashar al-Assad,” President Vladimir Putin wants to take influence in Libya and across the Eastern Mediterranian, they found out the best way to do it to back-Khalifa Hafar. For Turkey, it’s lots on stake, it already sent its troops last month to Tripoli to support the government in the capital. Turkish Companies are heavily involved in huge investments within Libya with over $20 of investment. The signing of a peace deal means Turkey gonna play its big role in shaping and rebuilding destroyed infrastructure inside Libya. Turkey also signed the “Maritime Border Deal” with the government in Tripoli that gives Turkey an excess of gas exploration in the eastern Mediterranean. But remember all these contracts and deals will be dead if Khalifa Haftar wins the Tripoli.
The challenger Khalifa Haftar is the definition of a spoiler. He much is the reason for all the mess in Libya currently. He is an uncompromising man, who believes that Libya needs a strongman to lead the county and found himself perfect in the definition of a strongman. He doesn’t like to compromise his interests that’s the reason he walked out of the peace conference held in Moscow last month, he also continued his attitude in peace meeting in Germany where he didn’t meet with the UN-backed PM, on Sunday his forces closed down 2 oil fields in the southwest of the country.
European countries want to end this war and will continue to interfere in crisis until their interests are not settled. Europeans frustrated with all unrest across Africa because of that outburst of the flow of migrants in their European soil. The Migrant crisis took Europe on Stromwhere millions of people fled from across Africa including Libya and crossed the Meditteiran and jumped into the European Borders, although since 2017 there has been a slowdown in the number of migrants coming, European don’t want to see any rise in that if the crisis educates. Likes of France and Turkey interest in Libya is more about energy and resources, they used to be on the opposite page but now singing the same hymn. Germany and including other Europeans, this crisis is also a task which is like an assessment of how much they can influence the world diplomacy, recently chief of Foreign Policy of European Union hinted about sending European troops on the ground.
The people of Libya are tried now from this unrest, crisis, and devastation which is almost decade-old now, they find a weakness in the government of the Prime Minister Fayez al-Sarraj in the Tripoli, who don’t have much power to decide anything, he too backed and in the power, with the help of many armed militias. Many Libyan believe they in need of strongman, Is Khalifa Haftar is that strongman to rule them ?? let’s leave it as interesting skepticism.
As things stand Khalifa Haftar is on the verge of the siege of Tripoli since April, but he can’t do alone, he needs support, which depends on how long Russia continues backing him and what role Turkey plays. It’s too much to play more for everyone that likey takes Libya into the path of more upheaval.