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tv   Inside Story 2019 Ep 105  Al Jazeera  April 16, 2019 2:32pm-3:02pm +03

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continuing their push for an immediate transition to civilian rule the military leaders are facing growing international pressure including from the african union to cede power to a civilian authority. the rage families have paid to the victims of the seawall ferry disaster five years since a passenger ferry capsized four hundred seventy six people were on board the majority of them were students on a school trip. those are the headlines on al-jazeera as always plenty more world news on our website al-jazeera dot com the very latest on all of our top stories on their martin dennis will be with you at twelve g.m.t. for a recap of the headlines on al-jazeera from me fully back to the whole team thank you for watching by for now.
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as libya's conflict escalates a dangerous double game is emerging western and regional powers are backing wyvil sides even as they publicly call for calm will they ever corporator and help stop the violence this is inside story. hello and welcome to the program i'm fully back t. ball it's been eight years since the fall of libya's leader moammar gadhafi and the nation is once again at risk of an all out war wyvil forces are intensifying their fight to control tripoli troops loyal to the u.n. backs government in the capital are trying to stop the advance of the warlords heidi for half time some of his fighters reportedly surrendered their weapons and
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tanks on sunday after began his offensive to take tripoli two weeks ago at least one hundred twenty people have been killed and the u.n. is calling for calm saying the fighting is undermining international peace efforts but behind the scenes some western and regional countries have been giving support to have talks al-jazeera is mahmoud abdullah one hide in tripoli explains how we reached this point. fighting intensified over the past week between forces loyal to the world holly for have turned and others allied with the in the back to tripoli base the government of national accord on the southern outskirts of the libyan capital tripoli the government of national called is accusing have to this forces of committing war crimes by targeting civilian areas with heavy weapons and airstrikes dozens of people have been killed so far including anderson civilians
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and thousands of civilians have been forced out of their homes because of the fighting now on the ground as a government forces have been gaining ground and they have launched its counteroffensive called the volcano of wrath to defend the capital city against what they call aggression by have killed forces we know that have to warplanes have been targeting several locations in and around tripoli including the only operational air force in the city eighty get now have started met the egyptian president at the fact there has sisi in cairo on sunday we know that this comes in terms of the egyptian support to the world. has recently the government forces have been gaining ground they are trying to push have still forces backed beyond. this used international airport on the southern outskirts of the libyan capital tripoli also military commanders with the government of national accord say that have to several military units with have to have been recently surrendering and handing
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over their weapons move out that was helpful inside story tripoli. well libya has had two rival governments over the last few years the u.n. recognize administration led by prime minister fayyad. is based in the capital tripoli most western nations support the unity government including italy which is worried that the fighting will force more migrants to cross the mediterranean qatar and turkey also box. in the east there is the two brew based government the center of power for highly for half time he is backed by egypt saudi arabia and the united arab emirates france is also accused of providing military support to have to and russia recently vetoed a u.n. security council statement to condemn his advance on tripoli now protesters in tripoli have urged the foreign ministry to summon the ambassadors of egypt's the u.a.e. saudi arabia and france and they say they want libya's representatives to the u.n.
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arab league and the african union to take measures against halftime are. the and. let's bring in our panel now joining us from london and. director of the tripoli based sadek institute in rome francesco guy head of the political risk consultancy policy sonar and joining us from oxford is oliver miles a former british ambassador to libya welcome to you all thank you so much for being on inside story and bassett or all of the miles if i can start with you so many countries being influential roles are outside powers worsening the conflict in libya. yes yes they are it's a strange situation because for a long time now there's been universe for oral agreement verbal agreement international level that there should be no. military support for any of the
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parties in libya in fact there's a u.n. embargo on arms control but some countries have been blatantly ignoring that and the strange thing is that nobody seems to be in bulling until very recently to name them or frame them so do you think that this recent offensive by a highly for have to tripoli is going to change the mind of some of these countries whose back to him until now into not doing so anymore quite possibly yes certainly there was an article in the french position saying that from to the barest because they've given support in the past monitors or in the past when he was establishing its control in the eastern part of libya in benghazi and are in america but they weren't expecting him it seems to launch this offensive you can properly as a matter of fact i think. pretty well any observer of libya over the last to europe to has been well aware that that was his intention the timing took us all by
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surprise but the intention was the do you think. in london that western powers like france were indeed caught off guard by early for have ties advance on tripoli do you think they had prior warnings about this offensive. they certainly did and this operation has been there for many years and if you look at the military supports the sheer depth and the layers of the kind of military planning intelligence gathering that has gone on in western libya the sheer fact that half there had been met by the foreign minister of france who was the former defense minister that according to figure out who had interviewed him only ten days before the offensive had said that he came here to congratulate him on his victory so i think in that respect tough there is not the n.f.l. mother all of the rest of the international community that they kind of make out the diplomatic level of course there's always been this surface level symbolic support of the u.n. by government minister of really material financial military intelligence kind of support that after has received over the last four years and but has it that he's used to his advantage to take over cities like ben as the like that no i mean the
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latest move took in february was the move into the south and that move was congratulated by the p three plus three that was the u.k. u.s. italy france the u.a.e. in egypt so they congratulate him on his last military offensive he illegally occupied the oil installations in the south and and then immediately gave them going to gave symbolic allegiance to the national oil corporation in tripoli is that as ok to do so in that respect i think he enjoys so much military support and again it's this kind of smoke and mirrors that most of the international community have engaged in they give this overt kind of public support to the u.n. by the government but only yesterday the minister of interior in tripoli for had said that in eastern libya had received an arms shipment from the u.a.e. and i think they're very very happy with what is currently going on because there is only just arrived yesterday into cairo to go meet with president sisi after an aborted trip to russia to go in with president putin so he's engaging these international actors that have no skin in the game so avoiding deflect attention
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from the very very actors the real actors that have skin in the game the french or the iraqis who are certainly happy to allow others to absorb the diplomatic presence or the pressure or the at least the perception of political power right what they continue to support after on the ground so let a very danger. camilla's game is going on here let's let's hear from francesco in rome francesco do you agree with. says western powers like france are playing a double game in libya and that haile for have to wouldn't have undertaken this offensive on tripoli unless he had the backing of some of these powers. certainly western powers believe they are able to be friends and everyone in this very complex case in the case for italy for instance if the lee is certainly very close to cut. the things that have hedged itself also against the wrath or say to egypt or the saudis of the iraqi but turns out that it probably has estimated its
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own and its own insurance policies as it turns out proximity close ties are to egypt. off a little use these days so italy is left wondering whether it did the mass properly . then all in the lead blaming it on france as an old italian handed especially when it comes to libya but yes. there is lot of ambiguity playing these days the ambiguity that our minds especially from from the europeans because they clearly have competing interests in libya do you think that they can overcome these differences are they willing to lend to overcome these competing interests is interests rather in order to find a solution to this crisis india. i were i would make a distinction between those countries which are actually giving practical support
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to libya and those which are to have two or a big of on and those which are alleged to be supporting him politically or in some indirect way and i think the only countries that have been giving him real practical support so far are egypt and the united arab a moment arab emirates what about france italy saudi arabia those are the road. from force helping libya helping haftorah earlier on as i said in in the his earlier campaign to establish control in the east of the country but i don't think there's any evidence that they're providing prepped for sport now. and i'm not going to get to the foreign minister has met as met after but he's also met saraj who's the leader of the the so-called government of national accord in rain tripoli the u.n. a lot of international leaders of met after the others as well and i don't think you agree with that you think the extent of france's support is much bigger than what ambassador minus. i think the narrative here is important it's crucial have to
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establish himself a thousand and fourteen as the onset of counter terrorism he never overtly said that he want to take political power and allegedly was not part of any of the political solutions he was the scored by a member of the us administration as being toxic and thousand and fourteen and nobody wanted to meet him he had belittle it himself after a trip in may two thousand and sixteen to abu dhabi where he was tasked with missing face that was a total break in diplomatic protocol to a break in the negotiations that had been led by the u.n. thus far and then a month later arrived in paris the first time it was at a european capital so i think this kind of joint amorality french diplomatic movement was that it was the gateway for him to establish this kind of political ambition and without that he would not be here he would not be where he is right now so i think it's also you know it's for him you know arabs can be deployed as but so can your opinion so the idea that he can meet various presidents of ours and he can meet with her if after but when we measure tangibly what has been given to sort of ours and what has been given to have though it's a little bit and weighed on one side and is given tactical support military support
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intelligence gathering there is rumors now or at least online that people are saying that there were french military personnel masquerading as documents that are up to the losses that to those in libyan border and were stopped by because they had military equipment when they were leaving so what would that be and again it's i mean even though those things are as i think we know and the french are very open about this right they have been working with have there for many years but they were also crucial to his political transformation and general is let's that let's be honest about this and francesco just coming back to italy you talked about italy's role here and its support for the un backed government but to what extent is it doing so and what are its interests here what is italy what does italy want out of a future libya the future of libya if inc i think it's really acknowledge is that what is at stake is the stability of the entire broader need to rein in and so i don't think it is ultimately only. fixated with libya it certainly has
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a very strong interest in preserving saraj where he is the best i think it what it is what it looks is the broader military and region from. almost of from the balkan tomorrow i think that what is happening in libya is perceived here in rome as a proxy fight between opposite blocs in particular between a saudi immunity bloc and turkey qatar the one so the last thing on earth that italy wants is a spillover of these kind of conflicts to other neighboring countries that is in particular to niji energy area. and it is also fair to say that it's really is looking at the region in a way that is slightly different from the way in which the vatican is covering the
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same. if one looks at the latest tricks of the pontiff pope francis. pope francis has picked two destinations are the united out of any raids and and more rock which gives a very clear indication of what the vatican where the vatican stands italy's not going down the same path so for once at least this is early and the vatican are taking opposite directions at least when it comes to this we just which however is our near abroad right he's our neighbor enable that's and that's very interesting that you talk about the the difference in visit the difference in position between the vatican any time government all of them eyes the tie ins have been warning that libya could become another syria do you said at the u.n. do you think of that was the case could we see another foreign military intervention in libya. well first of all can i just make a point out
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a bit surprised to have a count of the italian position without mentioning the question of migrants because italy is very sharp interest in libya at the moment it is the problem of the migrants who are coming through libya and most of them heading in the first place for italy but more generally are i think this this discussion seems to me to be in danger of getting slightly out of bounds because we're talking as though what is happening in libya is being determined by outside powers i don't think it is i think we're talking about a fight between libyans in which outside powers may have played some part and perhaps will play some part but which was my first question to you in fact that which was my first question to all of our minds whether you thought that outside powers were making the conflicts worse well outside powers are they have their interests they have the legitimate or less legitimate interest in what's going on but it's no good not doing that what is going on inside libya is
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being controlled by america or russia or italy or from shortly what else is being controlled by the libyans ok and your thoughts is what is going on in libya being controlled by libyans or by the outside powers like. france italy we haven't talked about the americans and the russians yet and i do want to hear your thoughts about their role in this conflict. well number one if you want to ripen people towards a peaceful solution any conflict in any kind of theater you need to be ripened towards peace you have to close all of the possible doors to war and the only way to do that is to enforce the arms embargo and that's the international community's responsibility it's not the libyans and that's not libyan citizens they can't run over to every city or border post in every single ports and see for where these arms are being delivered so i think it's disingenuous to suggest that libyans want to fight many of those libyans they have been in western libya only mobilized to counter this existential threat and they mobilized into those eleven for the very
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same reason so we should be clear about what the international arena is doing if they want to ripen this and they can't continue to have to they can't continue to allow the u.a.e. to violate the arms embargo to establish an air base in libya in two thousand and sixteen the very year that libya was supposed to be ready for peace that was the government of national accord that was installed in tripoli that time was the u.a.e. was trying to undermine that both politically and diplomatically and militarily so we should be clear about what the role of internationals are and what the responsibility of libyans are so that's number one number two there's an ideological component to all of this is well because after his narrative is one that appeals to the far right in europe over the last couple of years this wasn't populism wants to view that it meant mediterranean especially north africa and the middle east as being dominated by terrorist threats dominated by islamists and that's one of their offers them a very simplistic very dangerous narrative that all of my opponents are terrorists all of my opponents are extremists the world is a bit more complex than that but it certainly appeals to the islamophobia roys in europe over the last couple of years and have there is just pandering to that
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sentiment and it's certainly one that has found great at least in france but it's definitely a narrative that was established by the u.a.e. at the beginning of the arab spring and that's what it all comes down to we should not wrench this from its context as something that's happening that is wider than just libya and if you look at algeria look at sedan look at tennessee and look at syria this is not just about bill it's not just about balance it's about ideas right and ideas are much more dangerous than than the let's allow all of the minds to respond to that all of a response. what well i i agree with a great deal of that i think that if you want to corruption of afters attempt to appeal to these sentiments is quite correct and there are of course people inside libya as well who would who think that the only way that the anarchy which will prevail in libya for the last six years according to say eight years can be can be remedied is by a strongman and have to seize him self and present himself as a strongman but that's only one element in the argument but coming back to my point
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about the. important thing being what the libyans are doing i don't dispute that foreign assistance to after side has been has been important but if you look at for example at the question of power in libya if any foreign power with a decent fortune to be no live there would have an enormous impact on the on the fighting what is happening in reality is that both sides both people and the government of national accord managed to get a few antiquated into the air from time to time but that there was an aircraft which either shot down or came down for technical reasons yesterday it's a big twenty three and they've been in service since one nine hundred seventy so we're not talking about modern our forces which we would be talking about if there were serious intervention or for the. well if we're looking at but it doesn't we're looking at that in the there was the presence of tractors four of them that were the ploy allegedly by erik prince of the frontier service group formally of
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blackwater there were four chinese predator drones mimics of those called wing loons that are established that they were operational and buzzie and that in a one hundred thousand people were displaced from that city where at least seventeen hundred civilians are now in jails and where that city is the city is overrun by radical salafist that are in line with others project that respond to him so i think the international element gave the ground forces on the ground a critical strategic military advantage and so we shouldn't obfuscates it should. this latest intervention in tripoli from the great a war that was going on is the libya where so many people to be displaced without that critical as that would not have happened ok gentlemen let's bring back francesco into the conversation and get your thoughts on the extent of the role of the international community francesco in making this crisis worse and also what is the way out of it in your view if any for have to were to be successful in taking tripoli what would happen after that. i think that the at least from the
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intelligence standpoint the hope is that somebody is still capable of reigning in half the time and the whereas hostile obviously aims at putting everybody in front of a fait accompli. so in the end this is why the target the prime minister keeps on holding all the time and he put me twenty min gives this speech in public he always mentions all the international summits and meetings and. an occasion sold in which there was an international organization and a procedure in place just to convey the impression that there can be still order north. i think it is today at the same time is realizing that this may ultimately not work out as desired so it is trying to head a little bit and that explains. the string of tool as of tips about italian
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cabinet member or not today and tomorrow the leader of the five stars movement that is the prime minister luigi my you'll find themselves in the united arab emirates. but obviously at the same time there are meetings at the highest level taking place with qatar and with russia so this is a point where no child i mean it's a you cannot allow itself to a place only a single bed and it is trying to be friends everyone has in its edition and i have gotten is someone at this stage capable of reining in highly for have talked can he see for instance convince him to agree to a cease fire. let me give you a brief history of cliff after is a fifty year legacy of the section and defection in one thousand sixty nine he defected from the king of libya to mama gadhafi in one thousand a six he was captured in chad and the fact that i said every in one thousand and
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seven he went to langley virginia where he was a legacy working with the cia and then in one thousand a year he went to go and work with the libyan opposition or have them get out of who defected from to go and work with but it's worse in holland and not to know it to you then the fact that from them right and were reconciled with doesn't fall in egypt doesn't level he defected from omelets or if you went to work in the revolution he defected from that and bomb the first parliament thousand and fourteen ok we're not going to deal in thousand one thousand from the u.n. fifty years of deception of the faction who can reign on someone that is that deeply mistrustful and there is that is the main question today because the u.n. is trying to bring people back to the negotiation table to say what if we go and work out our differences how do you do that with someone with leslie distrustful and they've been a willing surrogate and proxy literally seven states over the last fifty let's give the last word please to oliver miles in oxford the united nations is still finds itself in a very difficult position today their response has been timid do you think the u.n. can still play a role in this crisis. i don't think that that outlined powers can intervene and in
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this crisis i think the role that the u.n. can play is to try to reinforce the others because of the slightly during this conversation try try to make sure that they are embargo on the military support he respected because although that won't settle the matter it will it will limit the bloodshed at the moment let's be clear that the you are not talking about over one hundred people killed well it's not comparable with what's happening in syria or yemen or what happened in iraq and it's comparable let's say water in gaza if the fighting goes on if foreign powers are able to give war military muscle to go to those parties contending and in particular after those those. casualty figures will go up one hundred fold that's what we've got to avoid ok thank you so much gentlemen we're going to have to leave it there unfortunately we've run out of time thank you for ever for a very interesting discussion and friend. and all of our minds and thank you
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as well for watching you can always watch this program again any time by visiting our website at al-jazeera dot com for further discussion go to our facebook page at facebook dot com for stash a.j. inside story you can of course also join the conversation on twitter our handle is at a.j. inside story for me for me back to you and a whole team thank you for watching my friend. to me it was clear to the intelligence gathering exercise my hands were shackled
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got back at a hood over the head off into this interrogation tent one by one and he said if you speak again i'll cut your throat muslim bag tells his life story and his life changing experience at guantanamo bay. it was. those are pretty. the confession a witness documentary on al-jazeera. in syria citizens are collecting evidence to get a lot of feel as shot of crimes committed against civilians who've moved out of syria on a six hundred thousand pages of material so that one day they can bring the assad regime to justice it puts a human face on the charges it's a dead human face by the securitas syria witnesses for the prosecution on al-jazeera.
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hello i'm martin dennis in doha are in these are the top stories here it out is there a huge father taught through one of france's most enduring symbols the not tread on cathedral has been extinguished firefighters have managed to save the main structure but it's and the roof collapsed french president emmanuel mccraw has promised the cathedral will be rebuilt the vatican russia and japan are among the many across the world who are offering to help david chaytor reports from paris. and unimaginable sight not to darker ravaged by flames a symbol of paris and french history collapsing in smoke it was seven o'clock in
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the evening local time when the fire broke out hundreds of firefighters and emergency services were there within minutes as thick smoke rose above the city people watched in shock and disbelief the u.s. attorney's office was always sort of spider collapse was shocked it's eight hundred fifty years of history it's heartbreaking we sat down. as night fell far vytas feared that the twelfth century cathedral will collapse completely but after working tirelessly for hours they managed to bring the fire under control the french president promised to rebuild not a dam. charity said by so many going to. say look this is. not freedom is our history our literature imagination the place where we have lived all our great moments epidemics our wars our liberation it is the epicenter of our lives it is the standard from which distances start and from which we can measure ourselves from.

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