Wednesday, 24 August 2011

Britain's agenda for an "inclusive" Libya?

John Simpson, the BBC's World Affairs Editor, comments as follows on the Libyan civil war (I think that is a more accurate term than revolution):
If 17 February has come to be reckoned as the start of the uprising against him, then 24 August will probably be seen as the day it succeeded.

Six months and a week of often unco-ordinated effort. It would not have succeeded without British and French determination and Nato's involvement, but it was essentially a revolution created by Libyans themselves.
The BBC news website is reporting as follows. I have added the italics for emphasis:
Downing Street said David Cameron and French President Nicolas Sarkozy had invited Libya's National Transitional Council (NTC) to attend a conference on the country's future in Paris next week.

"This will be an opportunity for the NTC to set out how the international community can help them on the path to establishing a free, democratic and inclusive Libya and for all those who wish to support Libya to discuss the role that they can play to support this," a Number 10 spokesman said.
The Dowining Street website attributes the same phrase to the Prime Minister, again with my addition of italics:
Our task now is to do all we can to support the will of the Libyan people, which is for an effective transition to a free, democratic and inclusive Libya.

This will be a Libyan-led and Libyan-owned process with broad international support co-ordinated by the UN – and I am in close contact with partners from NATO, the Arab League and with Chairman Jalil himself.
Within this reporting there is a visible tension between assertions of a Libyan led nature to the prosecution of the war against Gaddafi and the importance of French and British involvement through the NATO air campaign.

But what does the Prime Minister and No. 10 spokesman mean by that word inclusive? Used in an internal UK context it would imply the promotion of a particular equalities agenda. Does Her Majesty's Government intend to export that agenda to the new Libya?


Francis said...

Hi, Joe. I take it to mean that all the tribes would be encouraged to participate. Also, that officials of the former regime would not be excluded (as happend in Iraq).

Joe said...


I think what you say is true - and that there is also a stance towards a militant form of Islam, with its implications for the role of women in society and for religious freedom.

But is there also a hidden "picky-backing" of an additional agenda, suggested to me by the use of a word that represents a clear "code" when used in a different context?