Independent voices from the TWT Communities
The Obama administration and other Western governments ignored early warnings about small arms and explosives being smuggled out of Libya — weapons that now have fallen into the hands of al Qaeda-linked militants waging war across North Africa.
Security in Benghazi, the eastern Libyan city where four Americans were killed Sept. 11 in a terrorist attack on the U.S. Consulate, has decayed to the point where Westerners are fleeing, assassinations and kidnappings are rife and residents worry that U.S. drone strikes on jihadist targets are imminent.
Five days of riots last week in a town in Tunisia's impoverished interior wounded hundreds of people and deepened the rift between the two most powerful forces in this North African country: the moderate Islamist ruling party and the main labor union.
"More than 90 percent of Libya's militias work hand in glove with the government," he said. "Since most of the weapons have not been turned in to the Libyan government, they are still in control of the people who received them. It is only a small fraction of the militias that would want to deal in arms."
"Mali was the most susceptible to the nefarious effects of arms flows precisely because of internal political dynamics," he said.