THOUSANDS of Libyans have been forced out of their homes as fighting rages in the capital Tripoli between the forces of the UN-recognised ‘Government of National Accord’ (GNA) of Fayez al-Sarraj, and those of the powerful warlord General Khalifa Haftar.
Haftar, who heads the so-called Libyan National Army (LNA), is backed by the French along with Saudi Arabia and other Gulf States and enjoys the support of Russia, while Sarraj is supported by the US and the Italian government and backed by the UN.
Haftar launched a surprise attack to seize control of the entire country from his base in the oil rich east of Libya, on the eve of a ‘peace conference’ organised by the UN, Britain, Germany and Italy and, on paper, by the entire EU acting in harmony to broker some peace in a country torn apart by NATO bombing.
The UN peace plan was supposed to bring some form of agreement between these murderous groups that control various parts of Libya, and to restore ‘stability’ to a country destroyed by imperialism. Haftar’s march on Tripoli put an end to this plan.
It now transpires that, in his drive to civil war, Haftar was encouraged and backed by the French government. While the rest of the EU were all for peace agreements and stability, French president Emmanuel Macron was plotting civil war in Libya.
According to reports from Italian security sources, agents of Haftar held secret meetings in Paris and secured French support for his military attack on Tripoli. Already, France had been supplying military support to Haftar through French Special Forces training the LNA. This move by Macron has caused a seismic rupture between Italy and France.
Italy, as the old colonial power in Libya, is incensed at what it sees as a power grab by France in what it considers to be its backyard – if anyone is going to exploit Libya’s oil wealth the Italian government is determined it will be them.
Matteo Salvini, leader in the ruling Italian coalition government said: ‘The government is weighing up carefully whether France is in any way mixed up in these armed clashes in Libya. If it is true that there are economic interests behind the chaos in Libya, and if France is blocking a European peace initiative and instead backing one side, it would be a very grave matter.’
Very grave indeed!
Macron’s secret plotting to provoke a full scale civil war in Libya to overthrow a puppet government backed by the US and the rest of the EU blows a hole in the entire facade that the EU is a model of political and economic harmony.
The idea peddled by supporters of the EU in Britain that the EU is a force for peace and stability in Europe and the world has been torn apart and revealed as a monstrous lie.
Under the impact of the world crisis, the nation states of Europe are at each other’s throats, each determined to survive at the expense of its rivals.
French imperialism under previous president Sarkozy led the way, along with Britain and the US, in bombing the advanced state of Libya into rubble and now it is provoking a civil war that will cost the lives of thousands of Libyans and force many more to flee as refugees in order to gain control of the country’s oil wealth.
Macron has ripped away the facade of EU unity and exposed it for what it is, a collection of desperate capitalist nations each fighting for survival in the face of the world capitalist crisis. The lessons for workers in Britain and across Europe are plain.
The EU is tearing apart, and now is the time for the working class to intervene decisively by organising to bring down this shattered Tory government and bring in a workers’ government that will break immediately with the EU and go forward to
Socialist revolution in Britain will win the support of workers and youth across Europe who will rise up and put an end to this collapsing capitalist EU and its imperialist wars and replace it with the Socialist United States of Europe.