Unmasking the Diversionary Global Imperial Designs in the Invasion of Libya in 2011, ten years on, and counting

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Chidochashe Nyere https://orcid.org/0000-0002-3136-6588


Arab Spring, Global Coloniality, Libya, NATO, UN


In this article, I analyse the machinations of Western modernity that were manifested in the 2011 Arab Spring protests in Libya. The principal objective of the paper is three-pronged. Firstly, I critically observe the reasons for the uprisings in Libya. Secondly, I critically analyse the Libyan government’s response to the protests. Lastly, I focus on the responses of the NATO-led so-called international community. The article employs a decolonial lens of analysis to address this three-in-one objective, on the basis that the current discussions on Libya's political impasse are deficient in addressing fundamental matters of intersections between regional, and global designs that fuelled the 2011 uprisings in Libya. I seek to answer why, fundamentally, was Libya targeted by the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), if saving lives as it purported was not achieved, and the intervention only exacerbated the conflict and increased the death toll as a result? The qualitative methodology is used and the paper uses secondary sources that are available in the public domain. The findings are that the Libyan invasion was a targeted and selective application of the legal norm of the responsibility to protect doctrine (R2P), quasi-insulated from legal reproach by being sanctioned by the United Nations (UN). As such, the UN was used as a vehicle for the powerful located in the Global North to punish a member of the weak Global South. Therefore, the Libyan invasion by NATO forces further entrenched the colonial global power structural configuration of the Euro-North American-centric world.

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