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    NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg speaks with journalists prior to an Informal Meeting of EU Defence Ministers in Riga, Latvia on January 18, 2015

    NATO Secretary-General Tries to Pass the Buck Over Libya Crisis

    © AFP 2017/ ILMARS ZNOTINS
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    NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg stated on Wednesday that the organization is not responsible for the crisis in Libya despite its intervention in the country in 2011.

    NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg claimed at a press conference in Riga on Wednesday that he does not believe that the organization's military intervention in Libya in 2011 led to the current crisis in the country.

    "We have to remember that the NATO operation for Libya was an operation with a clear UN mandate. It was about protecting civilians against attacks from the regime and we did that," Stoltenerg told reporters. "I think the challenge has been what happened afterwards. There should have been more follow up, more presence of the international community, but that’s not only a NATO responsibility."

    In 2011, an armed uprising against long-standing leader Muammar Gaddafi led to a civil war. As a result of fears of human rights violations being committed by Gaddafi's troops, the UNSC passed a resolution imposing a no-fly zone over the country, imposed an arms embargo and authorized all necessary means except a "foreign occupation force."

    Following the resolution, a NATO intervention force was formed, which supplied arms to anti-government rebels in direct violation of the resolution and indiscriminately bombed positions of pro-government forces, whether their presence could be construed as harmful to civilians or not. NATO forces used intelligence gathered by methods which included giving rebel fighters laser guidance systems to mark positions for NATO airstrikes. Pro-government forces were defeated in October 2011 and Muammar Gadhafi was violently murdered by rebel fighters.

    At present, two de-facto governments are operating in the Libya as it faces its worst wave of violence since the beginning of the 2011 civil war. On Sunday, the Islamic State, which operates in the country, executed 21 Egyptian Coptic Christians, which led Egypt to conduct airstrikes against targets in Libya.

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    Tags:
    NATO, civil war, intervention, Jens Stoltenberg, Muammar Gaddafi, Libya, Riga, Latvia
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