Libya

Gas deals and Libya's civil war

Turkish troops, along with Turkey-aligned Syrian rebels, have now been sent to Libya. They have been sent to defend Fayez al-Serraj’s government in Tripoli in western Libya. Russian forces are also in Libya — supporting General Khalifa Haftar’s rival administration based in Benghazi in the east. There has been continuous civil strife throughout Libya since the overthrow of Colonel Gadaffi in 2011. The most recent episode began in April 2019, when General Haftar launched an attack on Tripoli. Haftar has been a central figure in Libyan politics for over fifty years, taking part in Gadaffi’s coup...

Free Carola Rakete!

At 7 p.m. on 28 June, Italian custom officers informed Carola Rakete, the 31 year old captain of the volunteer rescue ship Sea-Watch 3, that she faced charges of aiding and abetting illegal trafficking of refugees and illegal entry intoFree Italian waters. They demanded that she immediately leave her vessel — blocked by the Italian coastguards outside the port of Lampedusa — and report there to be interrogated and charged. She replied: “I will not leave my ship. I am exhausted , not having slept for days. But my priority is the fate of the 42 refugees on board, many of whom now ill and some...

The oil profiteers and Libya

With the news that the forces of General Haftar have bombed Tripoli's Mitiga airport (8 April), the events in Libya have reached a critical stage. The conflict is not just about two men and their armed forces, General Haftar (former Gaddafi general, lived in USA for 20 years, warlord with military clout based in the east of Libya) and El Sarraj (head of the UN-backed nominal government, with little clout outside Tripoli). It is indirectly about the clash between two imperialist powers, France and Italy, both with a long and murderous history of involvement in Libya and Africa as a whole...

EU fences off refugees

As the leaders of the EU countries on 27-29 June put their names to their “universal accord” on immigration policy, news arrived of another horrific tragedy off the coast of Libya. A hundred men, women, and children drowned as their rubber boat exploded and they drifted helplessly in waters where NGO rescue ships are now banned by Marco Minniti, Italy’s Minister of the Interior, not in the current right-wing Italian government, but in the previous centre-left one. Their deaths bring the total in the last months to their highest rate for a long time, despite a significant drop in the numbers...

When the facts came out

Introduction Fighting left antisemitism in the 1980s When the facts came out Gerry Healy discovers the World Jewish Conspiracy (1981) Who were the heresy-hunters in 1983? Download whole Workers' Liberty 3/62 as pdf After the WRP expelled Gerry Healy and blew apart in 1985, an inquiry set up by the remnant organisation and its international co-thinkers reported on the Healy WRP’s relations with Libya and other dictatorships. The inquiry had found “files in G Healy’s former office”, although from “internal evidence” it concluded that “much more material must exist” and “the actual amount of...

Defend migrants, defend free movement, fight for socialism!

Look around the world. Look at EU migrants who have made the UK their home now wondering how long they can stay and on what terms, all under the threat of Brexit. If they want to stay, they will have to apply for “settled status”. 1.2 million UK citizens living in other EU member states face similar anxieties. There are 3.7 million non-UK EU citizens in the UK; about 6% of the population and 7% of the working population. Look just across the Channel — at Calais, which has long been a focus for migrants trying to reach the UK. Now that the French authorities have cleared out the migrant camps...

Stop this slave trade!

Recent reports about the Libyan slave trade adds further to the horror of what is going on in Libya and across the south Mediterranean region. The Libyan slave trade has been known to be in operation for years. It accompanies the brutal exploitation of those fleeing poverty in Sudan, Chad and Nigeria. It is well illustrated by the story of Victor Imasuen, the young Nigerian interviewed by US broadcaster CNN on his return to Nigeria, a video that subsequently went viral. Unemployment and poverty in Nigeria mushroomed in the wake of the 2014 collapse of oil prices. This in part led to the 2015...

Libya: imperial rivalry and corruption

At the end of July, when France and Italy were about to sign a deal sealing the grip of Italy’s largest and most profitable company, Fincantiere, on France’s massive shipbuilding industry, Macron upset the applecart by announcing the suspension of the business agreement. Macron claimed it was to protect French jobs: but it was clearly a move to reassert French control over one of the country’s most strategically important companies. The Italian media, having first hailed Macron’s presidency as the promise of “the exemplary Statism and Europeanism” so lacking in their own bourgeoisie...

“Saving lives is a luxury we cannot afford”

In the last issue we carried a piece on ever-growing xenophobia and racism across Italy, highlighting the launch of a ship by a gang of neo-fascists dedicated to “Defend Europe” by physically confronting the humanitarian NGO ships involved in rescuing refugees off the coast of Libya. On both sides of that ship were emblazoned the words — “No way, you will not make Europe home, no way”. The news of this putrescent exercise was greeted, typically, superficially, and dismissively by the bulk of Italy’s bourgeois media. All the more so as the farcical itinerary of the craft saw it driven from one...

Saudi Arabia tries to push Qatar into line

A simmering conflict between the Gulf State of Qatar and its larger neighbour, Saudi Arabia, has abruptly flared into an open, serious stand-off. Beginning on 5 June, a Saudi-led grouping of states including Egypt, Bahrain and UAE broke off diplomatic relations, and implemented travel and trade bans against Qatar. Qatar has said it will not retaliate.Saudi Arabia has closed Qatar’s only land border and ordered its citizens to leave Qatar. UAE, Egyptian and Saudi ports have refused to allow Qatari ships to dock.80% of Qatar’s food comes from its Gulf neighbours and 40% comes across the land...

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