Tuesday September 12, 2017
In poker, smart players know that the best thing to do with a weak hand is dump it.
Not so the United Nations. Libya is doubling down on backing the failing Government of National Accord (GNA), hoping that by reopening its UN base in the capital, the previously fortified "Palm City Complex," things will improve.
They are also sending some sending in Gurkha "Security Guards," but nowhere near enough to actually make a difference against the Tripoli-based militias. For two hundred years the Gurkhas have been the most feared force in the British Army. If anyone can destroy the Tripoli militias, they can, but what's the point? Why shore up an unelected five-man government?
The GNA was created by the UN two years ago to unite the country and end the civil war. Instead, the GNA’s cabinet is unable even to unite Tripoli, which is "controlled" by various militias. Hence the need for Gurkhas to stop militias overrunning the ostentatious UN compound, "Palm City," which is itself a provocation to the Libyan people.
The elected parliament in Tobruk, rival to the GNA, is increasingly calling the shots. Thanks to the increasingly popular Field Marshal Khalifa Haftar, Tobruk now controls the majority of the country and its oil infrastructure and ports. The idea that the GNA will ever rule over areas held by Tobruk is laughable. But, having created the GNA, the UN remains determined to back it. Last week Haftar banned GNA personnel from visiting the East -- so much for the alleged French July détente efforts.