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Libya (18)

Monday, 08 October 2012

The situation in Libya

9 October 2012: Libya's parliament ousted the country's new prime minister in a no-confidence vote on Sunday, the latest blow to hopes that political factions could agree on a government charged with restoring stability after last year's civil war. Mustafa Abushagur was the first prime minister to be elected after the 2011 overthrow of dictator Moammar Gaddafi. Yekaterina Kudashkina from the global broadcaster Voice of Russia speaks to SAIIA researcher Tom Wheeler to hear his analysis of the prospects for Libya's future, in light of these recent developments. [Duration: 9min 14sec] Watch the video
South African Institute of International Affairs invites you to a roundtable discussion to be addressed by Professor Jan Wouter on "Libya and the Arab Spring – R2P, human rights and the role of regional organisations"Venue: Jan Smuts House
An unexpected wave of popular protests broke on Africa's northern shores in 2011, starting with the political demise of the Tunisian and Egyptian presidents, leading to more deadly conflict in Libya. These events – particularly those in Libya – have divided the African Union (AU), and shaken the organisation's fragile new foundations of democracy promotion and conflict prevention.
On the eve of the first year anniversary of the Arab uprisings, it is useful to reflect on the state of EU-Africa relations, particularly in the aftermath of the prominent role played by key EU member states in Libya.
The Arab Spring brought about regime change in three African states – Tunisia, Egypt and Libya. Popular uprisings in other states — Algeria, Angola, Cameroon, Gabon, Burkina Faso, Malawi, Morocco and Swaziland — underscored growing public dissatisfaction about the state of governance in their countries. These events served as a re-confirmation that African citizens will not tolerate oppressive and authoritarian rule. However, short of taking to the streets, when societies believe that the ballot box will serve to subvert rather than validate their concerns, does Africa have other tools to advance governance reforms in the region, hold politicians accountable and…
With the death on 20 October 2011 of Muammar Gaddafi, Libya enters a new and precarious phase. This special SAIIA feature addresses a series of inter-related internal, regional, and international security and political implications of developments in the country.
In life realities on the ground often lay waste to the best-laid plans. So has it been for the AU in the Libyan crisis. Since the rebels entered Tripoli on August 21 the hand-wringing around the AU’s marginalisation by Nato during the campaign has reached a crescendo. In that period, the Transitional National Council (TNC) has been recognised as the legitimate government in Libya by many states, including 20 from Africa; there has been a diplomatic flurry of activity on both sides of the Mediterranean with pledges for reconstruction assistance… and oil contracts; and the Libya Contact Group met in…
On 23 August 2011, Tom Wheeler, former Ambassador and Research Associate at SAIIA, spoke to Lerato Mbele on CNBC Africa's Beyond Markets show on the meaning of the developments in Libya. Also feauring in this show is Daniel Kinnear, Senior Executive Associate at the Africa Strategy Group. [Duration: 10min 49sec] Watch the videoThis video is copyright of ABN Digital/ CNBC Africa.        
Among some African commentators - official, professional, and self-appointed - there is often what amounts to a form of paranoia about the role of the International Criminal Court (ICC). Such attitudes result from a lack of information and gross prejudice. On 17July 2011, the president of the International Criminal Court, Judge Sang-Hyun Song of Korea, issued a statement to celebrate the Day of International Criminal Justice. He called for the people of the world to "remain united in our resolve to defeat impunity and the lawlessness, brutality and disdain for human dignity that it represents."
As published by The New Age on 7 June 2011 There is a long-held view in South Africa that the way the political problems were solved in this country between 1990 – when Nelson Mandela was released – and 1994 with the transition to full democracy, is a process applicable to all situations of internal conflict in Africa. The evidence has been accumulating for some years that this is not the case. Unless the one factor that laid a basis for success in South Africa’s successful negotiated transition is present, the South African model will not apply. That factor is…
As published in The New Age 31 May 2011 At a recent public discussion of events unfolding in North Africa and the Middle East, Na’eem Jeenah of the Afro Middle East Centre in Johannesburg spoke of how these days, events that used to take decades unfold in just weeks.
Armed conflicts, whether big or small, create confusion as social life is disrupted by acts of organised violence. Libya’s rapid descent from street protests to armed conflict caused the country’s cities to deteriorate into blown-out ghost towns in a matter of weeks. Under conditions of conflict where belligerents lob grenades, fire bullets and bombard each other with artillery shells, the flow of information is also disrupted. It was amid the dust and bullet-ridden confusion of Libya’s battlefronts that South African born photographer, Anton Hammerl, disappeared.
It is nearly four months since the rebellion started in Libya and it seems that the intervention sanctioned by the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) has reached a stalemate. Muammar Gaddafi is still in power and while the rebels have kept their ground they have not made a significant advance on Tripoli.Thousands of civilians have lost their lives and the cost of the military campaign to the United States alone is said to be in excess of $750 million. Could the governments that voted in favour of Resolution 1973 have foreseen the stalemate and the protracted nature of the campaign?…
As published by The New Age, 5 April 2011 Many countries north of the Mediterranean are battling with significant problems. These will no doubt speed up the process of the movement of economic power from West to East, towards the emerging powers of Asia, and other nations poised to seize opportunities for trade and local development.
As published by The New Age on 11 March 2011 There is no doubt that the level of discontent around the world is rising to dangerous levels. Maybe that is what their leaders think, but it is clear, to use a contemporary term, revolution has gone viral. Not only are social networking and cellphone technology helping ordinary people, especially the youth, to arrange and coordinate protest movements and events, but these same technologies are spreading the word about what is happening in country after country.
As a new wave of democratisation breaks on Africa’s northern shores, the common goals of the Maghreb’s people are hitting up against starkly different types of state. The situation in Libya is different from Egypt and Tunisia is two respects. First, is the ruthless personality of Libya’s leader, Muammar Gaddafi.
As published by The New Age, 22 February 2011 For the past weeks the unfolding drama in the Middle East has dominated news reports and media commentary to exclusion of almost every other issue. And there is still no end in sight. As events reach a certain interim stage of resolution in one country, attention moves to another. Even as pundits attribute the problems in one country to a particular cause, the popular uprisings in another country seem to have a different cause.
As originally published in Growth Magazine, Feb/March, During the summit of the African Union, held in Addis Ababa on February 1 - 3, Colonel Muammar Gaddafi, president of Libya, was elected Chairman of the Union's Assembly (summit) for the ensuing year. This is the first time he has served as head of either the African Union or its predecessor, the Organisation of African Unity. What is the significance of this move and what are its likely consequences?