Britain spent hundreds of millions of pounds on bombing Libya, but its post-war humanitarian efforts amount to “paltry bone-throwing,” a UN insider has claimed.
Speaking to the Observer, the unnamed insider said the UK’s proposed 2016 contribution of just £50,000 (US$ 71,150) in aid paled in significance when compared to the £320 million spent on Britain’s 2011 bombing campaign.
The North Africa-based source said the sum amounted to “paltry bone-throwing from a European country whose bombers reaped so much destruction in Libya just five years ago.”
Scottish National Party (SNP) MP Stephen Gethins, who sits who the Foreign Affairs Select Committee, also criticized the Department for International Development’s (DFID) proposed £50,000 contribution, reportedly used to employ a consultant to advise on medicine and food shortages.
Gethins told the Observer the government’s intention “to spend just £50,000 [for an adviser] on humanitarian aid following their bombing campaign of £320 million is unbelievable.”
He said UK policy in Libya had been “nothing short of disastrous,” that the military assault lacked planning and that local people are “paying a heavy price.”
He said Prime Minister David Cameron’s role in the war had been “widely condemned for helping create yet another failed state.”
“A disaster is unfolding in Libya, not least due to the UK’s actions,” Gethins argued.
“The UK must now step up and provide adequate humanitarian assistance to a country which desperately needs it.”
In March, US President Barack Obama said Cameron, who alongside France’s then-President Nicholas Sarkozy lobbied hard for the bombing, was easily “distracted” during the war. Obama is reported to privately refer to the Libya debacle as Cameron’s “shit-show.”
The Guardian reported on Monday that Cameron is yet to respond to an invitation from Foreign Affairs Committee chairman Crispin Blunt to appear before the influential panel’s inquiry into the war.
The committee carried out its own fact-finding mission in North Africa in March and is anxious to examine rumors that up to 1,000 UK troops may be attached to an Italian-led EU military brigade touted for deployment to Libya.