Three years after the death of former leader Muammar Qaddafi, Libya has not realized stable political transition but fallen into a quagmire of separatism, violence and terrorism.
The North African nation could even become a next Somalia if the western powers that played a significant role in overthrowing the Qaddafi regime and forming the status quo in Libya remain as indifferent spectators without assuming their responsibility by adopting adequate policies.
In 2011, western powers led by the United States launched air strikes against Libya and toppled the Qaddafi government. The National Transitional Council set up later on promised to hold elections, enact the constitution and form a new government.
However, religious, secular and tribal forces all tried to fill the power vacuum and struggled for central government posts, while local militants refused to be disarmed and reorganized, which has resulted in conflicts across Libya.
The General National Congress that took over power from the National Transitional Council in 2012 has failed to elect a powerful central government. Over the past few months, violence has flared up in different cities in Libya while the country juggles two rival parliaments and governments.
According to Libya’s original plan for transition, the elected House of Representatives has replaced the former interim Parliament — the General National Congress. However, the Islamist armed alliance Libya Dawn, which backs the ex-Parliament, has achieved a series of military advances lately in the capital city and has formed its own government.
For months, the Islamist militants and pro-secular militia have been vying for cities and towns across the country, and fighting still flares near Tripoli, Benghazi and Gharyan. The conflicts have killed hundreds of people and forced 250,000 others to leave their homeland since May.
The political turmoil and military clashes in the country have also provided a hotbed for religious extremism and terrorism such as the Islamic State militant group.
In fact, the Libya’s crisis is closely related to the indifferent attitude of the western powers, which have not adopted practical measures to help the country set up a powerful central government capable of stabilizing the situation and reestablishing the normal public order.
Similar situations have occurred in some other Middle East countries such as Iraq and Syria after the western powers, especially the US, adopted wrong policies there.
Firstly, the US by-passed the authority of the United Nations and disrupted the world order. Its unilateral use of force without UN mandate has severely demolished the world order after the World War II.
Secondly, the US, without showing respect for the sovereignty of the Middle East countries, has intervened in the internal affairs of other countries or even overthrown their governments, breaking regional balance of power.
While Libya’s failure to adapt to western-style democracy and the turbulent situation in the country has its inherent causes, the hegemonic designs and egocentrism of the western powers are important factors leading to the Libya crisis.
Therefore, it is highly advisable that the western powers take responsibility in the reconstruction of Libya because the turbulence there could impact the situation in North Africa and even the whole Middle East.