Essay: AFGHANISTAN AND LIBYAN CRISIS

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  • AFGHANISTAN AND LIBYAN CRISIS
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ORIGIN OF CRISIS, VIOLATION AND OPPRESSIONS IN THESE COUNTRIES, RIGHTS AND JUSTIFICATIONS (if any) FOR THE INTERFERENCE OF UNITED NATION’S

The Afghanistan crisis has a long history and sources describes the crisis as the greatest to have plagued any Arab nation. On the 27th of April 1978, the people’s Democratic party of Afghanistan (PDPA) took over power in a military coup popularly known as the Saur Revolution. This led to serious revolt against the PDPA. The revolt against the PDPA led to the Soviet War in Afghanistan, the war began in December 1979 with the sole purpose of replacing the then existing communist government of the PDPA. The opposing forces, known as the “Mujahideen” received support from the United States of America with the Pakistani ISI serving as an intermediary for the Mujahideen and America, some reports also claimed Saudi-Arabia acted as an intermediary. The communist government fell in 1992 after the fall of Kabul. It must not be forgotten that between 1838-1842, there was an Anglo-Afghan war which again resurfaced between 1878 to 1881. It is important to state that, Mujahideen fought against the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan and it was after the Soviet Union withdrew its troops that the government fell and after the fall, political parties agreed on what is today regarded as the “ Peshawar Accords” and established the Islamic State of Afghanistan which was then headed by an interim government. After this, another Militia opposition sprang up led by one Gulbuddin Hekmatyar and led a group of forces and started to bombard Kabul. Outside the whims of Hekmatyar, three other forces engaged different locations in Kabul and engaged in violent wars against each other. It is important to state that, countries such as Pakistani, Iran, India, Uzbekistan, Saudi-Arabia because of interest in influencing the strategically located Afghanistan supported and in certain cases controlled each or some of these forces tormenting Kabul. By the time these forces were conjured in late 1994 to early 1995, another strong and devilishly dangerous militias called the “Taliban” emerged and unrest returned, this time in death alarming scale to Afghanistan . in that early 1995, the Taliban launched a major attack on Kabul and suffered an alarming defeat and loss which made many to believe to believe that was the end of the group, only for the group to re-organize and re-group in 1996, this time around with military support from Pakistan and financial support from Saudi-Arabia.
September 1996, the group took over Kabul and established the Islamic emirate of Afghanistan. It is important to state that outside forces saw instability in Afghanistan as an opportunity to press their own security and political . It is important to state that, the ever present institution of war always working against all government departments, police units and the system of justice never allowed any government to thrive and perform. Atrocities were committed in large scale by individuals and different factions, Lawlessness and chaos ruled and vast human rights abuses and violations as reported by the Human rights watch and the Afghanistan justice proect . Back to the history, the United Islamic Front (Northern Alliance) was created under the leadership of Ahmad Shah Massoud as a military political resistance force against the Taliban Emirate which was backed militarily by Pakistan’s army and enforced by several thousand Al-Qaeda fighters from Arab countries and central Asia.
Various NGO reports have successfully accused certain branches of the Afghanistan government of violating human rights, not minding the very fact that military forces and sect forces also used minors and women as tools of wars. Various accusations of American soldiers on Afghanistan civilians, Rape and torturing innocent Afghans especially at the Beghram prisons. After the September 2011 attacks on the United States of America, it is important to state that the Taliban created an environment that bred terrorism and terrorists. Osama Bin Laden, a veteran of the fights against the soviets became a leading figure in the Al-Qaeda terrorist organization, which remains till today a leading and sophisticated Islamic terror groups in the world and it was from Afghanistan that Osama Bin Laden and his terrorist members struck the United states of America on the 11th of September 2011.
The National Security Directorate, Afghanistan’s national security agency has been accused of running its own prisons, torturing suspect and harassing journalists. So also, local security forces Malatias as reported also have their own prisons tortured and killed people as well. Many civilians were killed in battles with war lord forces with child death and rape taking fore. The various governments limited freedom of the media by selective crackdowns and invoked Islamic law. The media was totally controlled by the government.
Following the refusal to extradicate bin-Laden, the United States with the backing of some powerful forces (international community) responded with a military action. In October 2001, the United States and its allies launched a bombing offensive against the Taliban although with support of Afghan forces. In late 2001,the Security Council authorized the United States of America to overthrow the Taliban’s, which literality means, the invasion of Afghanistan territory by the United States was with the support of the United Nations, as an offensive against the terrorist Al- Qaeda Organization the Security Council of the UN also authorized that the United States and its NATO allies setup the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) so as to provide much needed military support and balance. It is important to state that during this invasion, the United States ran a separate anti- terrorist military operation. It is important to state that in March 2002, the Security Council of the United Nations established the United Nations Assistance Mission for Afghanistan ( UNAMA) which was established to manage all United Nations humanitarian relief, recovery and reconstruction activities. It important to state that despite all these UN invasion and the United States bombardment, Afghanistan remains a “failed state”. it has been reported that the Taliban has enjoyed an upsurge of military success in 2007-2008, and infact several NATO countries have expressed their grievous concern and plight about the political viability of the operation . Afghanistan has suffered bitterly from great power rivalry and foreign military intervention which are only beneficial to powerful forces of the world leaving the country in total disarray and over persistent turbulence.
LEGAL BASIS FOR THE USE OF FORCE AGAINST AFGHANISTAN
Article 2 (3) of the United Nation’s charter states that “ All members states shall settle their international disputes by peaceful means in such a manner that international peace and security, and justice is not endangered . The question that arises at this point is that did the United states of American (with the silent support of the security council) take all necessary measures to settle the issue or not? It merits emphasis to stress that on the day of the attacks, the Talibani ambassador called a news conference and declared openly that the Taliban would detain Bin Laden and put him to trial under the Islamic law if a formal request and evidence is received from America President George Bush replied the Taliban when they offered to surrender Osama Bin Laden for trial to a third party, if the bombing halted and they were shown evidence of his involvement in the terrorist attacks of September 11, bush said “ there is no need to discuss innocent or guilty. We know he is guilty . These sums it up all, the United States was not ready to bring Osama bin Laden to face the law or even put that the United States of America has more to push than to bring Osama Bin Laden to book. The United States was keen to bring down and destroy Taliban and AL- Qaeda and to also get complete control of Afghanistan. The worst and most alarming thing is that not even the United Nations asked for evidence of the involvement of Al Qaeda. It can thus be conclusively agreed that the United States with the support of the United Nations Security Council did not try to resolve this issue in a peaceful manner as postulated by Article (2) (3) of the UN charter. According to International Criminal Court of Justice, the right of self defense apply in the response of sending by or on behalf of a state of armed bonds, groups, irregulars or mercenaries which carry out acts of armed forces, or its substantial involvements therein. In other words, the armed attack exists when the link between state and the state non-actors is very close, as such, the September 11 attack is not a state act, Afghanistan state was never an actor in it and this brings to fore the fact and very truth that the invasion of Afghanistan is not strictly legal but political and a flex of power. Terrorists are individuals, Osama Bin Laden never held a political office neither did he took a decision in a position of power bestowed on him by the supreme law of Afghanistan. Politics of intervention is in style to achieve global targets set by powerful states and this practice is normally carried out under the wide and politicized international law.
The Bombings of the Afghanistan by the United States supported by NATO forces are illegal . The nineteen (19) men charged with the bombing of September 11, 2011 were not afghans. The invasion of Afghanistan is totally political and holds no legal badge. Apart from internal political debates, most human rights violations that plagued Afghanistan were those recorded during the invasion and war. The United States tried to defend the invasion by claiming that it was needed to prevent a second attack. Although debatable, even if this excuse is real, it has clearly no need for that urgency used. United States political leaders claimed and even recently President Barrack Obama confirmed it that the United Nations authorized the United State of America attack of Afghanistan . So the United States of America troops invaded Afghanistan with the support of the United Nations and under the banner of International legitimacy. It is important to state that the Security Council played beautifully to the gallery by openly passing various resolutions but ignored to mention in any of their resolutions the use of force against Afghanistan. While some writers claimed that the war on Afghanistan was not authorized by the UN Security Council in 2001 or at any time, the question to ask such writers is that has the Security Council taken any step to disclaim this or has any step been taken to penalize the United States? It is tacitly clear, the political underscore to the war in Afghanistan is of benefit to the United Nations Security Council. The Afghanistan invasion and interfering forcefully in the government of Afghanistan lacked both legal and moral justification.
LIBYAN CRISIS
Muammar Gaddafi became the defacto leader of Libya on the 1st of September 1969 and led Libya for over four decades. Gaddafi led a group of young Libyan military officers against king Idris I in a coup that was bloodless leading to king Idris fleeing the country. Gaddafi alongside his coordinated Libyan Revolutionary Command Council (LRCC) abolished Monarchical Constitution. After coming into power, Gaddafi and his team immediately initiated a process of directing funds towards the implementation of education, healthcare and housing although some criticized the policies as not been utterly carried out and effective . The increase in prosperity of Libya was accompanied by a widely criticized foreign policy which to many observes led to the fall of Gaddafi. In early 2011, civil war broke out which was again in the context of Arab spring leading to Anti Ghadaffi forces forming a committee named the National Transition Council which was meant to be an interim government in states conquered by the rebels. Cities such as Benghazi, Beni, Walid and Darmah witnessed the early parts of the fierce protest against the Ghaddafi administration. Many Libyans have complained of frustration towards long delays in provision of affordable houses and lack of basic amenities and perceived political corruption. A month after the protested started against the Ghadaffi administration, the Ghadaffi government had arrested human right activists but it is important to state that what culminated in this crisis started as a mere protests for lack of amenities but soon later changed into anti- government demonstrations as the protesters drew their inspiration from the regional movements and success in Tunisia and Egypt demanding a change of government and insisting on the departure of Gaddafi, but the violence used against the protestors sparked outrage and led to the formation of various rebel groups effectively turning the conflict into a full fledged civil war . it is important to stress that despite the fact that Gaddafi did fairly well compared to other African and middle East leaders, Colonel Gaddafi is a troublemaker and has instigated conflict all over the world and has his hands in virtually all conflicts in Africa, Middle East etc. He was known to have financed the Polisario front the peoples front for the liberation of Saguia et Haura (red canal) and Rio De Oro (gold rive) in their struggle for the liberation and independence for Western Sahara against Morocco. Ghadaffi supported former Chadian president Guokoni Quadeyyi if the northern Chad against president Hisseine Hobre and later fought Chad over the phosphate rich Azozou strip which he nefariously claimed belonged to Libya. Gaddafi was in full support of Late Ugandan warlord, Idi-amin. Gaddaffi was involved and infact aided Charles Taylor in his war against Samuel Doe. Gaddafi supported the Irish Republican Army (IRA) against the British Government in Northern Ireland. Gadaffi played an active role in the Lebanon crisis, he supported Moussa Bigade and when he fought Moussa Bigade, Ghaddafi was alleged to have arranged his kidnap. Till today, no one knows the whereabouts of Moussa Bigade. He played another devil in Indonesia . He clashed with virtually all leaders of the world and has just few friends . It merits emphasis to state that the western world’s hatred for Gaddafi got to the crescendo when during Gaddafi’s visit to the United States to address the United Nation General Assembly. He tore a copy of the UN charter in front of startled delegates and accused the Security Council of being an Al-Qaeda called for George Bush and Tony Blair tried for the Iraqi war and demanded the sum of 7.7. Trillion dollars in compensation for the ravages of colonialism on Africa and he right there renamed the Security Council “ terror council” and said their veto was tantamount to terrorism . We can now vividly see the kind of person Ghaddafi was and he can’t stop looking for enemies.
HOW LEGAL WAS THE INTERVENTION OF THE UN IN THE LIBYAN CRISIS
It is important to state that the interference with the Libyan internal scuffles raises questions that deeply questions the adherence to the legal structures of the UN charter. While there can be no doubt that great benefits were derived from the interaction as it sent a non democratic government packing but was it within the tenets of the law? The drum for military intervention for Libya has loudly beaten by United States of America, Great Britain and France using the slogan “ To stop Ghaddafi from slaughtering his own people”. The question to ask is, when did these countries become friends with the Libyan people. It is important to state that change in any country in the world must benefit in the hands of the people, as change from outside may not immediately bring lasting peace to a country
Chapter VIII of the Charter of the United Nations recognizers regional “arrangement or agencies” have a marked role to play in the maintenance of international peace and security; hence these organizations have the necessary empowerment to conduct pacific settlement of disputes among members as postulated by Article 52 entirely on their own without any recourse whatsoever to the Security Council (article 53). This is one of the three basis postulated by the UN Charter as constituting exceptions to the general prohibition of force under article 2 (4) of the Charter ( the other two is the right of individual or collective self- defense (Article 51), which comes to fore only after an armed attack has occurred against the United Nations members, and now the futile actions against former enemy states (Article 107). The treaties of most regional organizations contains provisions enabling them to defend themselves once an attack occurs against their members).
It merits emphasis to state that whenever states decide to use force against another state individually or as a state, the first question that begs to be answered is whether such an option is pursuant to the right of self defence as postulated by article 51 of the United Nations Charter or is it authorized by the Security Council. In the case of Libya, with regard To article 51, Article 51 does not apply as Libya did not attack any NATO member state. It can thus be conclusively reached only an authorization by the Security Council could provide a legal backing for any military action against Libya and keep NATO action in violation of Article 2 (4). Now, was NATO invasion of Libya authorized?. The Security Council understands how important it is for all bodies/ organizations that would be involved in the enforcement of the Libyan resolution to act in accordance with article 54. Hence, the Security Council insisted on the Resolution of 1973 that such organizations must “ inform the United Nations Secretary–General and the Secretary General of the League of Arab states immediately of steps to be taken in the exercise of authority conferred. NATO did not comply with Article 54 of the United Nations Charter just for the simple fact that it is not governed by chapter VIII whereas during the Bosnia/ Herzegovina crisis, NATO complied with article 58 despite the fact it was not governed by chapter VIII [18]. It can thus be said that the United Nations security council despite knowing that NATO lacks the legal standing to interfere in the crisis of Libya, kept mute and watched Ostensibly as NATO forces invaded Libya simply because they are against Gaddafi in person for his stern and virile out take against the United Nations.

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