British MPs say Cameron is responsible for the chaos in Libya

Flawed intelligence used to justify regime change

Photo by: Reuters (Archive)
Photo by: Reuters (Archive)

Britain and France led international efforts to back rebels fighting to overthrow Libya's then-leader Muammar Gaddafi and impose a no-fly zone over the country.

Former Prime Minister David Cameron is responsible for the chaos in Libya, the British parliament's Foreign Affairs Committee has said in a damning report.

"The UK's actions in Libya were part of an ill-conceived intervention, the results of which are still playing out today," said committee chairman Crispin Blunt, a member of Cameron's Conservative party.

Cameron stands accused of relying on flawed intelligence preceding the 2011 military intervention in Libya.

"UK policy in Libya before and since the intervention of March 2011 was founded on erroneous assumptions and an incomplete understanding of the country and the situation.

“Ultimate responsibility rests with David Cameron's leadership."

Britain and France led international efforts to overthrow Libya's then-leader Muammar Gaddafi and impose a no-fly zone over the country.

British warplanes were used to beat back Gaddafi's armies, allowing rebels to topple the regime.

After the long-term ruler had been ousted, Cameron gave a speech to cheering crowds in Benghazi's Tahrir square in September of that year alongside former French President Nicolas Sarkozy.

“Your city was an example to the world as you threw off a dictator and chose freedom," Cameron said. "Your friends in Britain and France will stand with you as you build your democracy."

But the disagreement between two rival governments — the General National Council in the capital Tripoli and the rival House of Representatives located in Tobruk — plunged Libya into violence.

In the absence of strong governance, the presence of terrorist groups like DAESH flourished, particularly in the northern area of Sirte. 

Libya has since endured an ongoing conflict — tens of thousands of people have fled their nation, embarking on a perilous sea journey to Europe.

TRTWorld and agencies