Loyalists to re-group and launch guerrilla war against neo-colonial state
As the United States and NATO war against Libya enters another phase, the neo-colonial designs upon Africa’s largest oil-producing state becomes more obvious every week. Executive decrees enacted by the imperialist-installed National Transitional Council are attempting to reverse the gains made since the beginning of the Al-Fateh Revolution of September 1, 1969.
The announcements that the country will be governed by Islamic law must be examined in relationship to the actual policies of the NTC regime which has targeted for elimination the social advancements of workers, women and indigenous Africans inside the country. Objectively the status of women is threatened with the repeal of the marriage act under the Jamahiriya which provided rights of divorce and property inheritance which will in all likelihood be radically changed by the new rulers.
Nonetheless, these changes being imposed on the Libyan people are being met with firm objections and resistance. The signs of this defiance are being revealed with graffiti painted on walls that sharply criticize and condemn the puppet government and calls for its removal.
An effort is underway to formally organize the opposition to the neo-colonial plans for Libya that is largely based in the southwest of the country. In the region known as the Sahel, former officials, operatives and supporters of the Gaddafi government are meeting on a daily basis to chart the next phase of the struggle to reclaim their nation.
Calling itself the Libyan Liberation Front (LLF), the organization is determined to activate existing popular committees established during the rule of Gaddafi to initiate a campaign to render the NTC regime ungovernable. The country is awash with sophisticated light arms, mortars and short-range missiles as a result of the wide distribution of these weapons by the Jamahiriya in the aftermath of the US-NATO onslaught on this North African state.
Also the LLF is examining ways of intervening in the supposed national elections that the NTC announced recently in Tripoli. These elections are slated to be held by mid-2012 and the LLF forces are planning to field candidates if they are not banned by the pro-western regime.
Prospects for a National Resistance Movement in Libya
Inside Libya there is widespread support and loyalty to the previous government based upon a myriad of factors. Despite the disaffection of certain sectors of the Libyan population from the Gaddafi government, demonstrations in support of the Jamahiriya attracted hundreds of thousands of people prior to the fall of Tripoli in late August.
The social gains of the Al-Fateh Revolution under Gaddafi guaranteed free education, health care, housing, pensions and the civil rights of the indigenous people and women. These benefits will be denied under the existing system and there is widespread retribution being carried out by the NTC forces against loyalists of the former government.
With the destruction of the national infrastructure along with the theft of the state treasury and foreign assets of Libya, anger and discontent is spreading rapidly. These factors will breed resistance to the current political dispensation and spark acts of rebellion that the NTC will be incapable of quelling.
In addition, the NTC forces are heavily armed by the U.S. and NATO and remain largely an undisciplined network of autonomous units. There are deep divisions within the rebel ranks that have resulted in shoot outs among various factions. The apparent political leadership of the NTC has been unable to reign- in the armed militias who have refused to unite into a single military structure controlled by the officials.
Meanwhile reports indicate that neighboring Niger is serving as a rear base for the LLF as they organize for future actions. According to one member of the resistance movement, “More than 800 organizers have arrived from Libya just to Niger and more are coming every day.” (Franklin Lamb in CounterPunch, November 4-6)
This same loyalist fighter is quoted as saying that “It is not like your western media presents the situation, of desperate Gaddafi loyalists frantically handing out bundles of cash and gold bars to buy their safety from the NATO death squads now swarming around the northern areas of our motherland. Our brothers have controlled the borderless routes in this region for thousands of years and they know how not to be detected even by NATO satellites and drones.”
Initially the LLF is reported to be working towards building a “people’s struggle employing the Maoist tactic of 1000 cuts against the current group claiming to represent Libya.” The resistance movement organizers have access to satellite phones, laptops and other equipment that will be utilized to gather information and dispatch fighters throughout the country. (CounterPunch)
The LLF has already claimed responsibility for two major operations inside the country. The bombing of a fuel storage facility in Sirte, which was reported on in the November 10 issue of Workers World, that resulted in the reported deaths of over 100 NTC rebels. Also the LLF says that it carried out the assassination of NTC official, Amin al-Manfur al-Manfa, who had previously worked for Gaddafi but switched sides after the February 17 rebellion which began in Benghazi. (adnkronos.com, November 4)
A LLF spokesperson was quoted as saying that movement is launching a campaign of assassination targeting the 500 top officials and operatives of the NTC regime. The resistance movement stresses that “We are ready to initiate a campaign to eliminate all the leaders of the National Transitional Council, killing them one by one. This is only the first list that we intend to draw up. There are names of all the traitors that deserve the death penalty.”
At the same time LLF officials have denied reports that the son and heir-apparent of Muammar Gaddafi, Seif al-Islam, is seeking to turn himself in to the International Criminal Court (ICC) to stand trial for alleged war crimes. Statements made by Seif al-Islam over the last several weeks have reaffirmed his commitment to the resistance against the neo-colonial regime now claiming to be the legitimate authorities in Libya.
The ICC issued arrest warrants against Muammar Gaddafi, Seif al-Islam and other officials during the imperialist bombing campaign against the country earlier in the year. The body located in the Netherlands serves as a tool of western foreign policy in their efforts aimed at regime-change in various African states.
The ICC is notorious for its attempts to prosecute African leaders and has not targeted any official from the imperialist states and their allies who have committed horrendous war crimes over the last two decades. Although the ICC made statements indicating that it would investigate crimes committed by the NATO-led NTC forces, no indictments have been issued against the rebels, let alone their supporters within the ruling classes in the capitalist states of Western Europe and North America.
Significance of Libya to the Imperialist War Against Africa
The US-NATO war in Libya, the installation of a puppet regime and the large-scale theft of the treasury and national resources of the country portends much for the rest of the African continent. Africa’s strategic role of supplying oil and minerals to the world capitalist system is necessitating the expansion of militarism on the continent.
Developments in Libya cannot be viewed separately from the enhancement of the role of the United States Africa Command (AFRICOM) in various countries. In Central and East Africa, the Pentagon has dispatched at least 100 advisers and Special Forces commandos into four separate independent states.
In Somalia, hundreds are being killed every week by CIA-Pentagon predator drones in a military campaign to liquidate the Al-Shabaab Islamic resistance movement which controls large sections of the central and south of this Horn of Africa nation. The US-backed regime in Kenya has launched a full-scale invasion of southern Somalia that is supported by Washington and Paris.
Kenyan military forces lost 15 soldiers on November 6 when their battalion was ambushed by Al-Shabaab fighters in the southern town of Tabata. Kenyan air force planes have dropped bombs in southern Somalia and the French navy has also shelled areas thought to be occupied by Al-Shabaab supporters.
These attacks on the sovereignty and independence of Africa will continue. African peoples will inevitably organize politically and militarily to meet this renewed challenge on the part of imperialism to solidify their neo-colonial control of the continent.
The pro-western regimes in Africa are economically and socially fragile and are therefore subject to the pressures exerted by the US and other imperialist states. The anti-war movement inside North America and Europe must categorically oppose this new wave of military interventions in Africa.
These struggles in Africa against imperialist militarism are closely connected with the worsening economic crisis inside the capitalist states. Resources which should be utilized for the creation of jobs, adequate housing, universal healthcare and quality education in the western countries are being squandered in repeated failed attempts to dominate Africa, Central Asia, the Middle East and Latin America.
Consequently, progressive forces inside the western countries must demonstrate their maximum solidarity with the African peoples in their fight against military intervention and exploitation by the imperialist states. This international unity of purpose and action can ensure the necessary advancement needed during this period to further the liberation of humanity throughout the world.
Abayomi Azikiwe is the editor of Pan-African News Wire , an international electronic press service designed to foster intelligent discussion on the affairs of African people throughout the continent and the world. The press agency was founded in January of 1998 and has published thousands of articles and dispatches in newspapers, magazines, journals, research reports, blogs and websites throughout the world. The PANW represents the only daily international news source on pan-african and global affairs. To contact him, click on this link >> Email