Libya Crisis: International Crisis Group calls for ceasefire and dialogue


Gaddafi: Subduing the insurrection.

An international Human Rights Organisation has called on the International community to soft pedal on hyping the Libyan Crisis warning that the ongoing standoff may approach unimaginable consequences if continued.

Brussel based International Crisis group calling for dialogues adding that Military intervention should only be used after all negotiation avenues had been exhausted. It further said that military if necessary should only be used as a means of protecting vulnerable civilians.

The Organisation in a Press Statement called for an immediate ceasefire among the rebels group and the Libyan government.

“A complete ceasefire should be followed by negotiations to secure a transition to a post-Qaddafi, legitimate and representative government” the statement said.

According to the Organisation, military intervention should be viewed as a last resort, with the goal of protecting civilians at risk, and nothing should be allowed to pre-empt or preclude the urgent search for a political solution.

The Organisation commended the earlier stance of the International community, claiming that at the outset of the current crisis of the anti-Qaddafi protests, the international community reacted by adopting certain measures, such as asset freeze, arms embargo, threat of prosecution of war crimes. The Group said it supported the move as necessary to prevent a humanitarian disaster, It however regretted that the situation has since evolved and now becoming a full-scale civil war.

The statement added:” In Tunisia and Egypt, the army, by playing a neutral buffer role, was decisive in avoiding civil war and facilitating an orderly resolution of the political crisis. In both countries, the state had an existence independent of the president and his regime”

The Organisation said the army could see that the protesters were opposing the leader but not the state itself, claiming that the distinction between state and regime has been absent in Libya.

“Qaddafi built a power structure centered around him and family members and dependent in part on tribal alliances rather than modern structures. As a result, the army and security forces could not remain neutral; they have split between forces loyal to one side or the other”, the Group said, regretting that now, Libya appears to be dividing along tribal and regional lines.

It said that in that contest, the Western powers calls for military intervention of one kind or another are perilous and potentially counter-productive.

“There are no quick or easy fixes” it warned.

“Qaddafi stepping down will not make any peace happen”, it warned.

The organisation also said that imposition of a no-fly zone, bombing airfields or arming the rebels could tilt the balance of power in the rebels’ favour, it is unlikely to swiftly bring down the regime.

“In fact, it could hand the regime a propaganda gift that enables it to reinforce its position, while compromising and dividing the anti-Qaddafi coalition, which needs time to develop into a truly unified movement with a clear leadership and a coherent political vision”.

ICG warned that such strong stand stance on Gaddafi might also prove inconclusive, placing the international community before a difficult dilemma, deepening its involvement, which may lead to a protracted stalemate.

The group said even though determined Western intervention could help topple the regime, but at considerable political as well as human cost would risk precipitating a political vacuum in which various forces engaged in a potentially prolonged and violent struggle for supremacy before anything resembling a state and stable government are re-established.

It warned such a vortex could draw in Libya’s neighbours and gravely compromise prospects for democratic development in Tunisia and Egypt as well as create a humanitarian catastrophe on Europe’s doorsteps.

It said it seems easy to enter a conflict but would be hard and be far easier to exit..
“Instead, the international community should enunciate clear principles aimed at ending loss of life and which it could defend regardless of the conflict’s evolution”.
It said the West should continue condemnation of the use of force against civilians and of violations of international humanitarian law, and should leave the credible prospect of international action should uch actions escalate
While the organisation seek for an immediate ceasefire it advised that
Negotiations between the protagonists aimed at replacing the current regime with a more accountable, representative and law-abiding government should commence immediately.
It advised that both
Crisis Group however is calling for the formation of a contact group or committee consisting of internationally respected statesmen drawn from Libya’s North African neighbours and other African states.
Its mandate would be to broker an immediate ceasefire and initiate direct talks between the two sides to secure a transition to a post-Qaddafi regime that has legitimacy in the eyes of the Libyan people.
“Such talks might not succeed. More forceful measures — sanctioned by the UN Security Council and in close coordination with the Arab League and African Union — might become necessary to prevent massive loss of life. But before that conclusion is reached, diplomatic options must first be exhausted”. .