Libya, four years on. Another international intervention?
Discussion about the prospects for a new international intervention in Libya four years after Operation Unified Protector.
Mary Fitzgerald, Journalist
Guma El-Gamaty, Founding Member, Taghyeer Party; Envoy to the UK during the 2011 revolution, National Transitional Council
Tarek Megerisi, Libya Analyst
Mattia Toaldo, Policy Fellow, ECFR
Four years ago, NATO and the Arab League intervened in Libya’s civil war. The intervention despite being ostensibly targeted at the protection of civilians, ultimately led to the overthrow of Mu’ammar Gaddhafi. Four years later, Libya is still in the headlines and again because of a civil war. The country is divided between two governments (only one in Tobruk recognized by the West), two parliaments and dozens of armed groups. Amid collapsing government structures, the Islamic State has made significant inroads in just a few months, now directly threatening Europe. The conflict has already created 400,000 IDPs in a population of just 6 million, while migrations through the Mediterranean from Libya have skyrocketed with some organisations predicting as many as 500,000 migrants in 2015. In Europe and elsewhere, there has been increasing talk of a new international intervention in Libya. Would this be a good idea? Does the 2011 give us any lessons learned in this sense? What are the prospects for UN-led talks?
Mary Fitzgerald has reported from Libya since February 2011 for media including the Economist, the BBC, Foreign Policy, the New Yorker, the Financial Times and the Guardian. She lived in Libya throughout 2014 and is a contributing author to “The Libyan Revolution and Its Aftermath” published by Hurst/Oxford University Press.
Guma El-Gumaty is a Libyan politician and a founding member of the Taghyeer Party. In that capacity he recently participated in the UN-led negotiations in Algiers. Guma was the National Transitional Council (NTC) envoy to the UK during the 2011 revolution.
Tarek Megerisi is a political analyst and consultant who worked closely on Libya's post-revolutionary political transition with national transitional bodies and the international organisations supporting them. He is currently based in London and has commentated on Libyan developments for publications including Carnegie Endowment's SADA centre, Muftah Magazine and Limes.
Mattia Toaldo is a policy fellow in the Middle East and North Africa Programme at ECFR. He has analysed US and European policy in Libya since 2004. He is the author of several publications and articles including “Europe’s options on Libya: no easy way out”. His comments appeared recently in the Financial Times, Foreign Policy, BBC radio and Sky News.