Fix state capacity in Libya, ICG advises

Sept. 14, 2012 at 11:37 AM
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BRUSSELS, Sept. 14 (UPI) -- The Libyan military needs reform while the structures of a functioning state must be established to ensure stability, a research group said.

Attacks on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi this week left U.S. Ambassador to Libya Christopher Stevens and support staff dead. Protests this week were in part sparked by a film produced in the United States deemed offensive to Islam.

The United Nations had previously expressed its concern about religious violence in the country, however, and the International Committee of the Red Cross had pulled some of its staff from Benghazi and Misurata earlier this year after coming under attack.

The International Crisis Group, in a 49-page report published Friday, said it didn't consider Libya a fully functioning state nearly a year after longtime leader Moammar Gadhafi died after falling into rebel hands.

"It will not be easy and will have to be done gingerly but it is past time to reverse the tide, reform army and police and establish structures of a functioning state that can ensure implementation of ceasefire agreements and tackle root causes of conflict," the report states.

It describes a "divide-and-rule" strategy embraced by the Gadhafi regime that, once ended, sparked a "free-for-all" among a sweeping group of armed militias.

The ICG issued an 18-point list of recommendations for state and international leaders to consider for addressing post-war war Libya. Among those was a recommendation to the U.N. Support Mission in Libya to work to replace or reform some parts of the country's military.

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