Italy could soon find itself entangled in another anti-colonial war on its doorsteps in its neighboring Libya which will cost it dearly in lives and definitely jeopardize its economic, political and cultural interests in this North African country for the foreseeable future.
On Thursday, Aboubaker Al-Siddiq Brigade (Western Mountain) of the Libyan National Army issued a statement which strongly condemned a covered Italian troop buildup in Libya vowing it would fight the colonialists with whatever means in its disposal.
“The violations of our country’s sovereignty [as demonstrated] in the return of Italian colonialism, and the presence of Italian troops in Jufra military base which we follow with deep bitterness, represent a clear evidence of the intentions of colonialism and domination,” the statement said.
Without the consent of the Libyan people Italy intervened militarily in Libya in September this year by sending over two hundred troops on the pretext they were to guard a military field hospital set up by Italy in the Libyan coastal city of Misurata and became operational on Thursday 21 October, according to Defense Minister Roberta Pinotti.
Recently, the Italian parliament voted to expand the Italian force in Libya whenever need arise, a move that has made the Libyan even more suspicious of the intentions of the Italy whose history of fascist colonialism and its consequent atrocities in Libya are well documented.
The Libyan military brigade’s statement underlines that “it is an attempt on the part of [Italy] to impose its control over our country again in spite of all the sacrifices that were made by our parents and grandparents who paid with their blood and souls to liberate the homeland,” the statement said.
The brigade, based in Zintan city in the Western Mountain and includes military officers and soldiers from all parts of Libya made it crystal clear that it would not tolerate the presence of Italian soldiers in the country.
Aboubaker Al-Siddiq Brigade became well known around the world in November 2011 when it captured Muammar Gaddafi’s son Saif al-Islam in the Sahara desert as he was fleeing the country after fall of the former regime and death of his father on 20 October of the same year.
Under the circumstances, the statement said, “we will not stand idly by and we will strongly fight every colonial intruder with whatever means in our disposal”.
The statement also called upon “all the free people of Libya to mobilize and prepare their resources to stand in the face of the new Italian invasion”.
“Victory is on our side with God’s help,” the statement concluded.
On October 5, the deputy prime minister of the Presidential Council Ali al-Gutrani who is also a member of the House of Representative made an official visit to Rome where he met the Italian Foreign Minister and handed him a letter from the Speaker of the Parliament.
Neither the Libyan nor the Italian sides revealed what the letter was about. But the two parties discussed the political process in Libya, the role of the Libyan National Army in fighting ISIS and its affiliated terrorist organization, the illegal immigration and other issues of mutual interest.
Sources told The Tripoli Post that Al-Gutrani, who is known for his support for the National Libyan Army and his despise of the UN-backed Government of National Accord and the Presidential Council, informed the Italian officials that their policy in Libya has been that of unwanted military intervention and that the national army is a red line.
A political analyst who declined to be named told The Tripoli Post that the continuing chaotic situation in Libya and Italy’s policy of taking sides there could drag Rome into a quagmire that it may not easily get out of it unless it reverses course sooner than later.