05/30/2011, 00.00
LIBYA
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NATO failing in Libya, media hiding the truth, says Prof Del Boca

by Simone Cantarini
For Angelo Del Boca, journalist and Libya expert, the high costs of the No Fly Zone have reduced to nothing any hope to see the blitz against Gaddafi succeed. Instead, the war might last several months because the Libyan leader still has troops, weapons and personal assets worth more than a billion Euros. The president of South Africa is in Libya to try a last moment deal with the Libyan government.
Rome (AsiaNews) – “The high costs of the operation against Gaddafi have turned a blitzkrieg in a media-led phony war. What NATO expected to obtain with the No Fly Zone is now gone,” Prof Angelo Antonio Del Boca told AsiaNews. A journalist and university scholar, Prof Del Boca has studied Libya and its leader for more than 30 years. According to the historian, “Gaddafi still has more than a billion Euros and the war could still last several months.”

Citing statements by a top Libyan official, Del Boca said that NATO destroyed less than 30 per cent of Libya’s military hardware. Great Britain and France no longer have the means to maintain the No Fly Zone. “The only alternative to unfreeze the situation is a land attack, which is banned by UN Resolution 1973, the historian said. This is why France and Great Britain are sending two ships with helicopters to comply with the UN resolutions.”

Today, South African President Jacob Zuma is set to meet Libyan leaders to discuss a ceasefire, but many are sceptical about the chances of success of his visit. For Del Boca, none of the countries involved in this war is interested in a peaceful resolution to the conflict. In fact, “the real reasons of this war are control over the oil fields and US$ 200 billion in Libyan government funds deposited in foreign banks.”

“The war is now illegal. Libya is still a sovereign country,” Del Boca said.  “Europe intervened in a war, backing part of the population against the other, despite UN resolutions that ban third countries from intervening in civil wars.”

For the historian, the main problem is NATO’s arbitrary support for the Transitional Council that recently asked for more money to pursue the war.

“No one knows the Benghazi rebels. According to local sources, the cities of Cyrenaica have become a refuge for criminals, spies and members of extremist groups, many from other countries,” the historian said.

According to Tunisian media, two border guards were killed in a gun battle with nine armed men, from an extremist movement, who were trying to join the Benghazi rebels.

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