‘Liberated’ Libya, Now Under Foreign Tutelage

Human Wrongs Watch

Cairo – While the Libyan National Transitional Council (NTC) chief continues ‘begging” NATO to remain in his country at least until the end of this year, a new international coalition of 13 countries -including the U.S., France and UK- has been announced in Doha to supervise “training, (re)arming and collecting weapons missions, after the end of the NATO mission.”

Image: Cipiota

The new NATO-inspired bloc, to be led by Qatar, was announced on Oct. 26 in Doha during a conference of the so-called “Friends Committee in Support of Libya”.

Qatar’s Chief of Staff, Major General Hamad bin Ali Al Attiyah, said that the international coalition is “new pop-up” of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), it was reported from Doha.

Meanwhile, several Arab countries announced in Doha conference that their troops and military equipments had actively participated and even fought side by side with Libyan rebels. This has been the case, so far, of Qatar, Sudan, Jordan and the United Arab Emirate, according to announcements by their respective leaders.

Hundreds of Soldiers and Weapons

Qatar was one of the first countries to recognise the NTC as the legitimate authority in Libya. The Gulf country has reportedly supplied the anti-Gaddafi forces with water, troops and weapons and over 400 million dollars in financial aid.

In fact, Qatar revealed on Oct. 26 that hundreds of its soldiers had joined Libyan rebel forces on the ground.

The Doha “Friends Committee in Support of Libya” decision came after the president of the Libyan NTC Mustafa Abdul Jalil called on NATO to continue its operations in Libya until the end of the year.

NATO should stay involved in Libya until the end of this year to help prevent loyalists of Muammar Gaddafi from leaving the country, Jalil said.

For his part, Ali Tarhouni, Libya’s interim Oil and Finance minister, had said on Oct. 25 that NATO should maintain its mission “for another month.”

NATO To Decide

NATO is expected to decide on Oct. 28 whether to end its mission by the end of this month, now that Libya was declared “liberated”, or extend it upon the NTC reiterated calls.

Meanwhile, around 26,000 troops, mostly French, US and British forces, destroyed about 5,900 military targets since they started on March 31, according to reports, which added that the NATO military warfare included air defences and more than 1,000 tanks, vehicles and guns.

The Oil Factor – Cheap and Abundant

Most Middle East analysts express no doubts that oil and natural gas are behind the Western interests in Libya. In fact, Libyan oil reserves are considered the largest in Africa and the eighth largest in the world with 46.4 billion barrels (7.38×109 m3) as of 2010.

Libyan oil production totalled 1.7 million barrels per day (270×103 m3/d) as of 2010. This gives Libya 77 years of reserves at current production rates if no new reserves are found.

Moreover, Libya is considered a highly attractive oil area due to the ow cost of its oil production (as low as 1 dollar per barrel at some fields), and its proximity to European markets.

It should be reminded that most of Libya remains unexplored as a result of past sanctions and disagreements with foreign oil companies.

Anyway, the majority (85%) of Libyan oil is exported to European markets.

It is estimated that 11% or 403 million barrels (64.1×106 m3) of oil imports to the European Union in 2010 came from Libya, making it the third biggest importer behind Norway and Russia.

With an area of almost 1.8 million square kilometres, Libya is the fourth largest country in Africa by surface, and the 17th largest in the world. The largest city, Tripoli, is home to 1.7 million of Libya’s 6.4 million people.

Also read on Human Wrongs Watch:

Libya – “A Revolution Is Not a Cocktail Party” 

Why Does Washington Celebrate Qaddafi’s Death

Libya’s Revolution: Tribe, Nation, Politics

Dictator Mubarak Breaks to Mourn for Dictator Gaddafi

The Morning After Qaddafi’

Libya: What Will Happen? (After NATO’s Victory Ceremony)

That Big Business Called Libya!

Who Will Replace The Libyan ‘Mad Dog’?

Libya: ‘Market Lords’ Rush In

Copyright © 2011 Human Wrongs Watch

This article may be re-published, sourcing to Human Wrongs Watch http://human-wrongs-watch.net

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