Libya in peril

Today a huge car bomb exploded near Al-Jalaa Hospital in the eastern Libyan city of Benghaz, killing and wounding dozens of people, including children.

The attack is the latest in a wave of violence that has been afflicting Libya for the past year and a half. In Benghazi in recent weeks, this has included the bombing of police stations and the murder of security officials.

According to the Tripoli Post, today’s bomb blast

took place during the rush hour in Benghazi and at the visiting hours at Al-Jalaa Hospital.

An eyewitness in Benghazi told the Tripoli Post that the car bomb destroyed a three-storey Ali Shaali Building. He said some parts of human flesh stuck on the walls and people were gathering them.

Another man on the spot said that the blast also completely destroyed a nearby restaurant.

Al-Jalaa bomb blast 13 May 2013

Human flesh collected from the site of a car bomb explosion in Benghazi on 13 May. (Source: Ushaaq Benghazi Facebook page)

Last November I predicted that the violence and anarchy afflicting Libya will not only continue but will get much worse:

Libya will continue its inexorable descent into chaos and violence, unless the international community – the Arab League, the Organization of the Islamic Conference, the United Nations or even the devil himself, it no longer matters – acknowledge our lamentable reality and dispatch a sizable peacekeeping force to establish law and order, disarm the militias – by force if necessary – and give the nascent Libyan authorities a chance to grow up, look in the mirror and live up to their responsibilities. The post-Gaddafi Libyan authorities, from the National Transitional Council to the recently formed government of Prime Minister Ali Zidan, have a uniquely idiotic security concept: building an army composed of a coalition of “approved militias”. This will not work. WIth 1,700 militias plaguing the country and respecting no one, it is a recipe for endemic violence and a complete breakdown of society.

If Libya is to survive as a state, then steps must be taken right now to mobilize an international peacekeeping force and authorize it to intervene to disarm the militias, bring about security and train an army and police force. It is better to bite the bullet, swallow our pride as Libyans and do this now before it is too late.

I also said that I would not be advocating such a radical course of action if I did not sincerely believe that the alternative is my country’s self-destruction.

Today, that self-destruction is that much closer.

It is in nobody’s interest for Libya to disintegrate, Somalia-like. What passes for a “government” in Libya has proved beyond any doubt that it is incapable of providing security for Libyans.

Likewise for the elected provisional parliament, the General National Congress, which recently nullified its legitimacy by bowing to pressure from armed Islamists and other gangsters and passed a law to exclude former officials of the Gaddafi era from public office, i.e. guarantee that only Islamists hold public office.

Consequently, only the international community – the Arab League, the Organization of the Islamic Conference, the United Nations – can save Libya.

They must act now or it will be too late.

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