Similarities Between Afghanistan and Libya

The dreadful situation that has developed in Afghanistan during the past week reminds me of what happened in Libya after US Ambassador Christopher Stevens was murdered in Benghazi on 11 September 2012.

For those who don’t remember there was a mass evacuation of western diplomats as the country was abandoned by its erstwhile friends. As a result, a civil war began that has been fuelled by outside actors for the best part of a decade. In addition, the country became a safe haven for Islamic State terrorists and a launch base for illegal migrants crossing the Mediterranean Sea.

Yesterday, the Italian coastguard had to rescue 539 people crammed onto a fishing boat drifting off Lampedusa. Many of these had been attacked while in Libya.

John Simpson has just said “peace is further away than ever”, but he could also say that brutal regimes are nearer than ever”.

When will we learn that we need to share the risks in dangerous countries if we are to be credible partners and fulfil our international responsibilities to prevent crimes against humanity?

Libya 2012

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