While the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) says it is protecting civilians in Libya from Muammar Gaddafi, an International Criminal Court (ICC)-indicted fugitive, it has allowed another ICC-wanted criminal to send his army into the country.
In an under-reported event, Sudanese leader Omar al-Bashir, currently under indictment by the ICC for genocide in Darfur, recently sent troops across the Libyan-Sudanese border into southern Libya to occupy Kufra, a town located in an important oil-producing area. Only last May in his own country, Bashir, who could teach Gaddafi lessons on killing civilians, had used the same army to ethnically cleanse 60,000 Dinka tribesmen with tanks from Abyei, while his air force is currently bombing Nuba civilians indiscriminately in their mountain villages in possible preparation for a new genocide. Indicating that a deal with the devil may have been made prior to the Sudanese army’s cross-border move, NATO, which controls Libyan airspace, did not oppose the occupation.
“Our surveillance shows that they are not moving the oil, so it is not about money in the short term,” one Western official was quoted as saying.
What the Sudanese intervention most likely is about, however, is oil. More specifically, it is about getting it flowing again, a NATO priority. British officials are reported to “have worked closely” with the rebels in Benghazi to this end.
The role of the Sudanese troops in achieving this goal, it seems, is to provide the oil-producing area around Kufra with protection from Gaddafi’s forces. The Libyan leader’s fighters have been attacking oil facilities around Kufra and elsewhere to prevent the rebels from selling the oil and using the proceeds to prosecute the war against him. Without money, the rebels say they are “incapable of battling Gaddafi…”
“The Gaddafi army was coming in and taking out the oilfields every time the rebels started pumping oil. They’ve dismantled the fields quite carefully so the rebels need security down there,” the official said.
The Sudanese army moved into Kufra only days after the last attack by Gaddafi forces on the area’s oil fields on June 12. Prior to the Sudanese arrival, there had been a lot fighting around the town. What Sudan’s government expects to receive for its help in Kufra is unclear. But one can rest assured that Bashir is not helping out for nothing.
If NATO acquiesced or assisted in hiring the army of a war criminal and mass murderer like Bashir for use against a similarly indicted criminal, as appears likely, it throws a hypocritical shadow over the military alliance’s oft stated mission statement of protecting Libyan civilians. Enlisting Bashir proves protecting civilians from a brutal dictator was never NATO’s priority; rather it proves, as has long been suspected, the war is primarily about oil.
One African columnist, Obi Nwakanma, has most likely discerned the true reason for NATO’s involvement in the Libyan civil war. Britain and France, Nwakanma maintains, feared being shut out of the Libyan oil fields in favour of China and India. Libya contains the largest oil reserves in Africa.
“It is no longer a secret that behind this NATO alliance war on Libya, and far beyond the ‘do-good’ face it …wears…as its reason for bombing Libya to smithereens is the quest to control the oil fields of Libya, guarantee Western access to energy sources in the face of growing concern over the rise of China and India and their…emerging gluttony for oil…,” Nwakanma writes.
It would be just like the sadistic Gaddafi to turn around and make oil exploration deals with China and India after Britain and France had suffered humiliation at his hands in expectation of getting such agreements. Forgetting Churchill’s words of never giving in to tyranny and dishonour, in 2009 Britain cravenly freed the Lockerbie bomber, Abdelbaset al Megrahi, who in 1988 blew a Pan Am passenger airliner out of the sky over Lockerbie, Scotland, killing 270 people including 189 Americans in exchange for an oil deal.
At first, the British government denied that freeing Megrahi was linked to any such agreement. Later, however, it admitted the Libyan’s release was part of just such a deal, worth $900 million, that British Petroleum signed with Gaddafi shortly afterwards. At President Obama’s request, Libyan rebel forces are currently searching for Megrahi. Like his boss, the Libyan terrorist is facing a court date but with the US justice system.
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