The UK and US are removing some diplomatic staff from Libya amid political unrest throughout the country. Professor Mark Almond told RT that the spike in violence is mostly due to Libya‘s state of disorder – which has worsened since Gaddafi’s overthrow.
The US State Department said that it has “approved the
ordered departure of non-emergency personnel from Libya.” It
said that the US embassy in Tripoli would continue to remain “open and functioning.”
A spokesman for the Foreign Office said that Britain’s embassy
is temporarily withdrawing a small number of staff – most of which “work in support of government ministries which have been
affected by recent developments.”
Those “recent developments” refer to an increase in violence
which was sparked after two ex-rebels besieged two ministries last
month over a law that would ban officials who served under former
Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi.
Since then, gunmen have surrounded the Libyan foreign embassy
and Benghazi has been the target of bomb attacks which left a
police station damaged.
Mark Almond, an international relations professor at Turkey’s
Bilkent University, says the violence is largely to do with the
country’s chaotic state, as well as a power struggle regarding who
should control the country’s oil and gas industry.
RT:The UK issued a warning to British nationals back
in January, advising them to stay away from Benghazi. It’s now
withdrawing its staff. Why are tensions on the rise now, as opposed
to what was happening in January? What’s changed?
Mark Almond: I think there has just been a constant level
of trouble. Partly what we’re seeing are deep divisions between
Libyan revolutionaries who Britain and other NATO countries
supported. There’s a power struggle over who should control the
Libyan state and particularly the country’s oil and gas