“A theory of democratic transitions" - D. Acemoglu & J. Robinson (2001)
October 21, 2011 – US and NATO murder Muammar Gaddafi
Libya: 'Process of change and democratic future'
July 17, 2012 – USA and Al Qaeda: Holy Alliance:
June 25, 2013 – Saudi Arabia: ‘Syrian rebels must be armed’:
November 7, 2013 – Syria: Saudi Arabia to spend millions to train new rebel force:
Photos: Britain's Prime David Cameron (right) welcomes U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry at Number 10 Downing Street in London February 25, 2013 - U.S. Secretary of State John F. Kerry visited Riyadh, Saudi Arabia on November 4, 2013, on a trip aimed at shoring up the “special relationship” between the United States and Saudi Arabia.
Muammar abu Minyar al-Gaddafi (7 June 1942 – 20 October 2011) was the leader of Libya from 1969, when he overthrew the monarchy in a bloodless coup, until 2011 when he was overthrown by a NATO-backed internal rebellion. He declared Libya a directly democratic state (jamahiriya) in 1977, and stepped down from government office two years later, although he remained the effective center of power. Gaddafi pursued an anti-colonial and pan-African foreign policy that the United States and European countries condemned as 'sponsorship of terrorism'.
November 15, 2013
At least 31 people have been killed and 235 injured in clashes in the Libyan capital, Tripoli, officials say, after militiamen opened fire on protesters.
Hours after the incident, armed men returned to storm the compound, where militiamen are still holed up. The Libyan government has been struggling to contain numerous militias who control many parts of the country.Prime Minister Ali Zeidan gave a televised address in which he said all militias had to leave Tripoli without exception.
However, it is unclear how the authorities plan to dislodge them, the BBC's Rana Jawad reports from Tripoli.
This is a serious development in the capital that is reminiscent of events in Libya's second city, Benghazi, earlier this year. when anti-militia protesters attacked bases and more than a dozen people were killed.
One of the key issues, according to many in Tripoli, is that large numbers of militias in the city are from brigades from other cities, like Misrata - at the centre of today's confrontation - and Zintan for example.
Unlike last week, where the fighting was between two rival militias, the implications of any armed group facing off with civilians are potentially dangerous here because the majority of civilians still have weapons at home.
If officials again react passively to the latest incident, it may fuel a cycle of revenge attacks which could spiral out of control.
... 'Between 125 and 150 gunmen, "some wearing the Afghan-style tunics favored by Islamic militants," are reported to have participated in the assault. Some had their faces covered and wore flak jackets. Weapons they used during the attack included rocket-propelled grenades (RPGs), hand grenades, AK-47 and FN F2000 NATO assault rifles, diesel canisters, mortars, and heavy machine guns and artillery mounted on gun trucks'...
The metamorphosis of tiny Israel from a midget to a giant is in the making:
As a reminder:
A Libyan cargo plane carrying humanitarian aid and medical consignment including polio vaccines, arrived in Cotonou, Benin, late Sunday as part of a medical campaign.
The campaign was launched by the Qadhafi Project for African Women, Children and Youth targeting 12 countries in the African continent.
The management committee of the Project, named after Libyan leader Col. Moammar Kadhafi who initiated it, had decided last December to undertake massive medical campaigns and to immunize children against polio and measles in several African countries.
Official sources said the shipment comprised 15,000 doses of vaccines, a sizeable quantity of medicines, mainly antibiotics, food supplies, tents, blankets, clothes and footwear for children and women.
In the entourage are 40 doctors specialised in different fields, and volunteers drawn from the national Youth Volunteer Service Commission and the youth league as well as NGOs and Libyan scouts.
The first medical campaign by the Project was held in Chad on 15 January.
During such campaigns, doctors conduct medical consultations and surgeries as well as health surveys targeting women and children.
Countries targeted by the Project include Chad, Niger, Nigeria, Mali, Benin, Senegal, Guinea, Sierra Leone, Cote d'Ivoire, Ghana, Gambia and Burkina Faso.
The Project, with its headquarters in Tripoli, inaugurated on 31 December 2005, but started its actual work in 2006. It seeks to mobilise efforts and resources in favour of the youth, children and women in Africa.
On 1.3.2011, speaking at a conference in Brussels, Israeli Deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon said ‘international moves to impose a no-fly zone over Libya to stop Moamer Kadhafi using air strikes against his own people, had not been discussed by the Israeli government’. “If you ask me personally, I think it should be imposed. There is a danger of genocide. Morally we have to stop it. Its best to have the UN’s okay”, Ayalon said. (AFP) (Ayalon was the Israeli embassador in Washington)
On 2.3.2011 (just 1 day after the visit of the Israeli Deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon to the NATO headquarters in Brussels), the American Minister of State Hillary Clinton, who has a very good relation with the Israeli-American lobbygroup AIPAC, said that Gadaffi ‘had to go’ and that ‘ nobody had to leave crocodile tears’.
Photo: victims of the by the United Nations authorized NATO bombings on Libya (Nasser University in Tripoli)
Some of the Western powers that were fighting Colonel Qaddafi’s military from the air and sea had, over the years, helped arm the very military they were criticizing for its attacks on civilians.
These Western weapons — including American 81-millimeter high-explosive ordnance; Italian air-to-ground rockets; and Belgian rifles, ammunition and land mines — all ended up, in time, in 'rebel' hands.
Belgian rifles were perhaps the most widely seen of the Western weapons. When Colonel Qaddafi’s Soviet-inspired armor columns moved on Libya’s cities, the gunmen riding along did not all carry Kalashnikovs. Many of them clutched Belgian exports, sometimes under circumstances that seemed almost to mock the spirit behind the limited rules that regulate the transfer of conventional weapons between states.
Roughly one month before Belgian F-16s would roam the Libyan skies, the tiny European country discovered on YouTube that its weapons were in the hands of those who chose to fight Col. Muammar el-Qaddafi.
A man in Benghazi, was holding a weapon with odd, easily recognizable features: the F.N. 303, a launcher designed by the Belgian company Fabrique Nationale de Herstal and shipped in 2009. The launcher was part of a deal between F.N. Herstal and the Libyan government in May 2008. The Belgian arms factory agreed to sell, along with the 2,000 F.N. 303’s, 367 F2000 automatic rifles, 367 P90 submachine guns, 367 Five Seven pistols, 30 Minimi machine guns, 22,032 40-millimeter grenades for the F2000s, 50 Renaissance pistols and 1.1 million rounds of ammunition. All in all, a deal worth more than 12 million euros, or almost $16 million at current exchange rates.
In Belgium’s decentralized political system, the regions have been responsible for approving licenses for arm exports since 2003. F.N. Herstal has a peculiar status: Although it is a private company, its one and only shareholder is the Walloon regional government. In order to ship the weapons to Libya, a longtime customer, F.N. needed authorization. The licenses were granted in quite an unusual way. The special commission in charge of investigating the deal was not able to make a clear decision at first. But under political and labor union pressure, the Walloon government agreed to the deal the day after regional elections in June 2009, when the Parliament could not gather and oppose the move.
Moreover, according to Belgian documents found in Libya by a Human Rights Watch team, part of the weapons shipment was ready roughly three weeks before the licenses were granted. It was a way to put more pressure on the government.
Officially, the weapons were to go to the Khamis Brigade, a special army unit under the direct command of Khamis Gaddafi, the youngest son of Colonel Qaddafi. The unit wanted to “replace its old and dysfunctional weapons” with new ones in order to “escort humanitarian convoys to Darfur.” In August 2009, two Belgian groups went to court to cancel the licenses, arguing that the weapons might be used in human rights abuses. Two months later, the Supreme Administrative Court of Belgium ruled in the case. But it was too late: F.N. Herstal had already shipped most of the weapons. A few weeks later, the Walloon government granted new licenses for the rest of the order.
By the end of November 2009, all the Belgian weapons had arrived in Libya. They would reappear, one by one, in photos and videos of the revolution until Colonel Qaddafi was captured in Surt. His golden gun, a Browning, was seized and displayed for the cameras as symbol of the government’s fall. The golden Browning bears an obvious “Made in Belgium” marking. It was part of the 2008 deal, among the 50 Renaissance pistols bought from F.N. Herstal. Before its shipment, it had been engraved with the seal of the Khamis Brigade.
Rebels captured other F.N. Herstal weapons from the same lot and bearing the same seal, first in Misurata, which had been besieged by the Khamis Brigade; then in Bani Walid; and finally in Tripoli. They are now in the hands of some members of the Transitional National Council, including its chairman, Mustafa Abdel-Jalil. He appeared on the Zuwarah city television channel aiming an F2000. Whether owned by Libya’s old or new rulers, the Belgian weapons bearing the Khamis Brigade seal have clearly served other purposes than the humanitarian ones for which they were sold.
Older Belgian weapons like the F.N. FAL or F.N. MAG, have been found in significant quantities in Libya. And they could prove to be more of a threat to the region’s stability than the shipment from 2009.
Robert Sauvage, a spokesman for the weapons company, said that “F.N. Herstal never makes any comments on its orders, their destinations, their nature and the quantities of weapons it sells.”
“For obvious reasons, related to industrial and commercial strategies,” he added, “we never give any information to the public concerning the nature, the quantity, the price and the destinations of our defense contracts.”
Large numbers of Belgian land mines, the P.R.B. M3A1 and P.R.B. NR-442, were also found in Libya. These mines were probably manufactured and sold to Libya in the 1970s and 1980s by the Poudrières Réunies de Belgique before the company went bankrupt in 1990. They were laid or stockpiled in crates in unguarded warehouses. The antitank landmine P.R.B. M3A1 has even been found in an improvised explosive device. The Belgian mines have also been used by anti-Qaddafi fighters. A BBC videoshowed some of them planting the land mines in April. Shortly after, the Transitional National Council promised to stop using the mines and to destroy any that had been stockpiled.
What will happen to those mines and rifles, old and new, remains an open question. Changes in the licensing process are being prepared, and statements made in 2009 and 2011 by the Supreme Administrative Court of Belgium might have an effect. Meanwhile, F.N. Herstal and other Belgian weapons manufacturers continue to make deals with countries like Saudi Arabia, and the details remain opaque.
Arms sales — and the circumstances behind them — are much less transparent than governments might have you believe.
1) Former Belgian Prime Minister and leader of the European liberals, Guy Verhofstadt, and Gadaffi. Verhofstadt was pleading for a military intervention in Libya and is actually pleading for a military intervention in Syria. He has good relations with the representants of the oil and weapons industry.
2) Verhofstadt and general Idris of the so called Syrian opposition.
3) One of the F2000 rifles sold by F.N. Herstal to Colonel Qaddafi’s government under a Belgian license that allowed the transfer on the grounds that the weapons would protect Libyan aid convoys to Sudan. It was captured in May by a rebel from Qaddafi soldiers who were defeated at Misurata.