Greg Reynolds for RUSSIA TODAY
As with most conflicts in the region, the current spate of fighting in Libya is characterized by oil interests. A large part of IS strategy in Libya is to capture Benghazi and to establish a stranglehold on Libya’s oil and trade markets.
Hundreds have been left dead and rape is being used as a tool of terror. Given light of these developments, the discourse in the Security Council gravitates around what shall be done – all agree that something is needed.
However, as much as oil plays a role on the ground, it is also an important factor in foreign policy. The United States, following the threats to Benghazi, has commented that if the Security Council cannot act to remove IS from Libya Nato will do so.
This is a dramatic change in tone from discussions prior to the IS shift towards Benghazi, which surrounded deescalation and peace-keeping. French policy has also shifted; not only are the French willing to strike militarily, but they are willing to remain in Libya long-term. This demonstrates the change in nature of fighting at hand – the West is now afraid that IS may not only consolidate themselves in a large area, but that they may also grasp hold of vital oil infrastructure.
Can the Security Council overcome oil interests to secure the future for the Libyan people? Only time will tell.