A CASE STUDY OF LIBYA After six years that the Libyan Revolution toppled longtime autocrat Muammar Gaddafi, Libya is without a central government and the Islamic State is expanding inside its borders. The international community decided to intervene in order to protect the civilian population from the forceful response of Gaddafi’s forces in 2011. In the aftermath, the security situation in Libya remains unstable and its present situation shows that military intervention and the overthrow of a dictator do not guarantee peace and stability. EXTERNAL INTERVENTIONThe UN Security Council intervention in Libya:The Responsibility to Protect (R2P) was implemented for the first time in Libya in March 2011 as the Libyan government seemed to fail to protect its own citizens. The R2P was recognised by world leaders as a framework for intervention with humanitarian objectives. Gaddafi’s unpopularity in the Arab world also ensured support from various Arab States, including the Arab League, which called for the UN to establish a No Fly Zone. Controversy: the R2P was based on the military intervention by the international community as the last resort when a state would fail on its primary responsibility of protecting its own citizens. Actually, the UNSC Resolution 1970, adopted on February 26, 2011 did not explicitly authorise the use of force, but it gave Member States the authorisation to “take all necessary measures” in order “to protect civilians and civilian populated areas under threat of attack”. The Member States that were to implement the Resolution interpreted it as authorising military intervention and the use of force in Libya. Controversy: the R2P was a global political response based both on universal values and strategic interests. The violation of human rights was the main motivation for the international community: protecting civilians from the murderous rampage of Gaddafi. However, the primarily self-interested geopolitical and commercial interests of France and Great Britain (two permanent members of the Security Council) were key drivers of the intervention: they started working with big companies to secure future energy supplies during the intervention. The agendas of both Western politics and oil were indistinguishable. Controversy: in regards to NATO’s implementation of Resolution 1973, it was criticized because it went beyond the authorised protection to civilians and targeted Gaddafi loyal forces with the purpose of regime change. In the afterwards, there is currently a political vacuum as the suppose ‘regime change’ has left the country without a viable political alternative. Conclusion: despite the international intervention was initially proclaimed to be a success as the long-term dictator Gaddafi was overthrown, Libya has been labelled a ‘failed state’. The political vacuum is struggled by two opposing government bodies claiming to be the representative authority in Libya. And there is no police force or army functioning to tackle the large number of militias that are destroying infrastructure and committing unlawful killings. Finally, the consequences of the ‘failed state’ can be seen in Libya central Mediterranean route through which a major number of migrants travel to Europe. Since the Civil War in Libya started migrants crossing this route have increased along with the slave trade: refugees and migrants escaping violence are sold into slavery to smugglers and human traffickers. A CASE STUDY FOR YEMENThe country is deep into a devastating war since the Yemeni Civil War started in 2015. There are two opposing sides fighting in the sake of Yemen: the Houthi forces, allied with those loyal to the former president Ali Abdullah Saleh, and the forces of Abdrabbuh Mansur Hadi, supported by a coalition led by Saudi Arabia. After almost three years now, it is considered “the largest humanitarian crisis in the world”. Who is guilty for that? The analysis on Yemen will be tackled in the fourth myth on arms sales . 2. Debating Arms Sale: from the West to Middle EastMyth: Western countries promote peace worldwide and stand for peaceful means to solve conflicts. Their implication on arms sale does not have an impact in Middle Eastern conflicts. Fact: Western countries defense peace but they act against this principle: they are engaged in arms sale which is fuelling regional instability and conflicts in the Middle East. Question: Do you think Western countries are to some extent responsible for the conflicts in the Middle East? Main points to clarify in the debate:There is an unprecedented level of weapon sales by the West to Middle Eastern countries: Gulf states such as Saudi Arabia, UAE and Iraq, along with Egypt and Algeria are the top five arms’ purchasers. In 2015, these countries spent $18 billion on weapons whereas in 2014 it was $12 billion. Source of information: https://fas.org/sgp/crs/weapons/R44716.pdfArm sales is intensifying Arab Interventionism, a growing trend in the Middle East since the Arab spring in 2011. It is characterized by Middle Eastern countries that are using armed forces to protect and pursue their interests in crisis zones across the region. One main concern is the massive expansion of the armed forces of Saudi Arabia, UAE and Qatar posing a clear threat to Iran. Source of information: https://www.theguardian.com/world/2015/apr/23/the-18bn-arms-race-middle-east-russia-iran-iraq-unThe permanent members of the Security Council (the US, the UK, Russia, France) are the first weapons suppliers of countries ‘for battling ISIS’: Syria, Iraq, Libya, Yemen and Egypt (Sinai Peninsula: Al Qaeda in Derna). The threat relies on the fact that arms are not only used to fight terrorism but their use provoke human rights violations and regional instability. 2015: France’s foreign minister, Laurent Fabius, disclosed progress in selling Rafale fighter jets to the UAE, one of the biggest and most aggressive arms buyers, and Egypt. The same year, Iraq’s prime minister, Haider al-Abadi, disclosed that he wanted arms worth billions of dollars from Washington for the battle against ISIS. The risk increases in the context that Middle Eastern states are more prepared to use the weapons they are buying (jet fighters, missiles, armoured vehicles, drones and helicopters, among others) and their use poses higher risks for national, regional and global peace and security. The following example explains the responsibility of Western countries in Yemen’s violation of human rights: THE CASE OF YEMENSaudi Arabia’s coalition is fighting against the Houthis and their allies loyal to Saleh in Yemen as Saudi Arabia searches the restoration of Hadi government. The key point is that Saudi airstrikes toward the Houthis have also caused huge collateral harms: Yemen has the world’s food security emergency as 20 million people needs humanitarian assistance. According to the UN “more than 60 percent of civilians deaths have been the result of Saudi-led airstrikes”. Definitely, arms sales to Saudi Arabia perpetuates Yemen’s war. Western arm sales provokes human rights’ violation in Yemen:The agreement between Canada and Saudi Arabia in 2014 gives General Dynamics Land Systems Canada a 15-year contract to make weaponized military vehicles for Saudi Arabia worth about $15 billion. What is the risk? The use of these vehicles to fight dissidents and country’s Shia Muslim minority. Source of information: https://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/politics/the-saudi-arms-deal-what-weve-learned-so-far/article28180299/On 19 May 2017, Trump has announced the renew sales of Precision-Guided Munitions (PGMs) to Saudi Arabia. It reverses Obama’s administration decision to halt the arm sales as munitions are used against civilians and civilian infrastructure in Yemen. It perpetuates war crimes in Yemen, violates US and international law. Moreover, new analysis released by the American Bar Association’s Center for Human Rights indicates that continued US arms sales to Saudi Arabia are illegal under the Arms Export Control Act and the Foreign Assistance Act because the US can no longer assure that the US-sold weapons will not be used against civilians. According to Kate Kizer (2017) “in place of this sale, the US Congress should pass S.J. Res 40, a bipartisan bill that institutes common-sense conditions on additional munitions sales to Saudi Arabia based on its conduct in Yemen”. Source of information: https://www.yemenpeaceproject.org/blog-x/arms-sales-ksaThis behaviour is inconsistent with the UN Human Rights Council (during the 36th session) in which the US made a resolution to address the human rights situation in Yemen: creating the Group of Eminent International and Regional Experts (the strongest mechanism to examine and report on the human rights situation in Yemen to date) and technical assistance and capacity building to the Republic of Yemen Government’s National Commission of Inquiry. Another controversy: the US has co-sponsored a resolution on the violations and abuses on human rights in Syria, particularly on the impact of the civil war on children. However, the US air campaign in Syria has already caused massive civilian casualties in support of ground operations against the ISIS by the US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces. Recently, on March 20, 2017 an airstrike targeted a school housing displaced people in the suburban town of Mansourah, outside Taqba. On March 22, 2017 another airstrike hit a marketplace in Taqba City. According to Human Rights Watch, at least 84 civilians died in the bombings, including 30 children. Source of information: https://theintercept.com/2017/09/25/syria-us-airstrike-civilian-death-hrw-tabqa/6. In conclusion, the arms sales from Western countries to the Middle EAST are definitely responsible to some extent for the perpetuation of human rights’ abuses and the use of force against innocent civilians. The Western War on Terror can no longer cover the dark side of arms trade (collateral harms) and neither justify arms sales in certain conflictual countries such as Yemen or Libya. The latest is actually subject to an arms embargo by the UN since February 2011 due to the systematic violations of human rights. On the debate we will also mention the violation of the arms embargo by Italy, Egypt and other countries.