Monday 22 January 2018

Nicholas Leonard: Containing Gaddafi looks simple compared with challenges posed by Syria and Yemen

Nicholas Leonard

The British government's summit conference on Libya in London tomorrow will take place against a background of extreme uncertainty at Westminster about how and when the crisis can be resolved.

The defence minister, Liam Fox, said yesterday that there was a "whole range of hypotheticals" and he highlighted the importance of the latest military successes by the rebels: "As they move round the coast, the rebels will increasingly control the exit points of Libya's oil and if they continue to move round that coast from Brega round to Ras Lanuf. . . it means they will pretty much be in control of all Libya's oil. That will produce a very different dynamic and a different equilibrium inside Libya."

Fox, whose own career is at risk from his numerous critics within the Conservative party, knows, however, that even if Gaddafi is deprived of cash from oil sales, his loyalists are still capable of wreaking violent revenge on rebel supporters.

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