Berenice Stories

Short Stories by John Oakes

TRIPOLI – MY LETTER TO A BRITISH FOREIGN OFFICE MINISTER

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As I write the democratic process in the UK is in some disorder. We ordinary British folk are watching our parliament, which prides itself on being the mother of parliaments, now unable to reach agreement about the UK’s relationship to the rest of Europe. We are also watching the component parts of the UK becoming restive and seeking independence.  Fortunately, the UK police force and judiciary remain relatively independent of political manipulation and retain the trust of most citizens – so far, that is.

I note with some scepticism that the British Foreign Office is attempting to obtain a vote in the UN which calls for a democratic solution to the current armed conflict in Libya. Eventually, of course, that must be the solution. Right now, however, I am surprised at the naivety this embodies. I am even more surprised as one of the current Foreign Office ministers kindly claimed that he was inspired by a speech I made many years ago to become an MP and to use his talents to lead for the human good. I would tell him this, clearly and emphatically. Firstly, deal with the Tripoli militias, IS and Al Qaida. Curb the malign influence of the city state of Misurata and bring the city state of Zintan into the fold.  

I would point out to him now, were he to read this, that there can be no democracy in Tripoli whilst it is dominated by armed militias which live by the sword. There will be no democracy whilst there is no independent functioning police force and no effective judiciary. What is more, there can be no democracy when Islamic extremists are given succour and people traffickers are allowed to operate without let or hindrance.

I am forced to agree with this piece which comes from the propaganda arm of Field Marshall Khalifa Hafter’s Libya National Army which is attacking Tripoli now. I would point out whilst doing so that Tripoli was my wife’s town where she was happiest and where the people she knew and worked with were law abiding and kindly. I was sometimes involved with the police and justice system in Tripoli and found it beginning to work effectively. It was a long time ago in the early days of Libya’s independence and there was a sense of promise and hope in the air. Where has all that hope gone now?

Here are the words of Lt. General Madi of the Libyan National Army as quoted in AdressLibya today:

 ‘Major General Idris Madi, commander of the western region of the Libyan National Army, said that residents of the cities of Libya’s western region support eliminating militias from Tripoli and the western region.

In statements to “Al-Ittihad” newspaper on Saturday, General Madi pointed out that Libyans are fully convinced that the civil state cannot exist in the presence of weapons in the possession of criminal gangs, Muslim Brotherhood, the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group – al-Qaeda, and extremist groups.

General Madi referred to a plan led by the Muslim Brotherhood and al-Qaeda in the southern region to stir up public opinion and convince the world that the geographical area controlled by the army is based on criminal and terrorist gangs.

He pointed out that the LNA involvement in the north and the non-unification of the political and military decision allows extremist groups to move and carry out limited operations intended to confuse and obfuscate the issues.

Major General Madi stressed the difficulty of the establishment of a civil state in Libya in the presence of armed militias and the spread of weapons outside the authority of the state and the relevant institutions under the law.

“Can a peaceful transfer of power occur in the presence of weapons directed at the people?” Madi said.’

Indeed so! 

John Oakes

12th May 2019

Written by johnoakes

May 12, 2019 at 3:44 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

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