Civil War in Libya
Nobody does civil war like the Middle East. In Libya, four groups are battling it out to gain control of the government: the “Council of Deputies” (the Libyan government), ISIS, the General National Congress (Muslim Brotherhood), and Libyan rebel forces. Currently, the Misrata (rebels) and the General National Congress each claim governance of their individual areas of Libya, effectively splitting the country while still fighting. The Libyan Government, now referred to as the Council of Deputies, has the force of the Libyan military but is not currently in power. In 2014, the GNC was “voted” into power, in what many people claim was a rigged election. There was an uprising, and the GNC was told to step down to make way for a temporary government to make arrangements for better voting processes. That was not how it went, however, and the “new” GNC is in power in the country’s capital. ISIS has taken over Derna in Libya, and has created an Islamic state there similar to the ones they have created in Syria and Iraq. Benghazi, the capital city, has become the battleground for the factions, and has destroyed most of the beautiful city’s architecture and rich culture, and has killed many civilians.
How This Affects World Affairs
While a civil war in some obscure country may be all that Libya appears to be, the situation is largely representative of the current state of affairs across the world. Because Libya is not under one recognized government, much of the country is in a state of chaos, and this means that its borders are largely unprotected. This means that illegal immigration is very common, and many people like Ethiopians and Egyptians manage to move through the country at their own risk. Unfortunately, ISIS does not take well to illegal immigrants who are not Muslim, and the consequences are deadly. In addition, the fighting in Benghazi and Libya at large stresses the Middle East situation even further. Small rebel groups are being forced apart, forced to fight groups like ISIS or other small militias, which prevents them from making any true progress. This means that ISIS and other extremist groups will be able to gain more ground in the confusion, which pretty much ensures that the situation will not be resolved any time soon.
Why the World Needs to Help
In situations like Libya, many large countries like the U.S. are afraid to step forward and take action out of fear that they’ll have “another Iraq on their hands.” Many people felt that, after the fall of Hussein, the U.S. occupied Iraq too long, and so foreign policy has been withheld in regards to Middle Eastern issues. However, it’s hard to stand back when so many huge ramifications can result from international neglect. Not only are people dying, but violent militias and movements are taking strongholds, providing breeding grounds for ISIS (and groups just like it) that will spread terrorism across borders. There are hundreds of thousands of Libyans who are stuck in the crossfires, but nobody wants to help.