As Libyan rebels invade Tripoli, Norway’s Foreign Minister Jonas Gahr Støre still sees Colonel Muammar Gaddafi as a potential threat.
Rebels fought hard to control the majority of Libya’s capital city yesterday and there are reports the fighting has died down overnight. Colonel Gaddafi was given almost no other alternative but to resign from his role as their President.
At the same time Internet connections slowly return following a six-month blackout, and Gaddafi’s son Saif al-Islam subsequently defied allegations of his capture by driving in the streets of Tripoli, Jonas Gahr Støre believes Gaddafi has every intention to staying in power.
“Gaddafi as a threat to the Libyans is not over.One should not ignore the fact that he can lead a guerrilla war or attack the oil fields, and such things,” said Støre, speaking to NRK.
Norway is no longer involved bombing missions to get rid of Gaddafi since recalling its F-16s earlier this month; however the Foreign Minister believes the future of Libya remains unclear.
“We can say that Gaddafi's regime is about to fall. We agree that it will now be important to continue to provide support for the protection of civilians in Libya, in case there of a military attack by the Gaddafi regime,” the minister continued.
“Therefore, there is still work to be done, something the transitional council in Libya has been clear on. It is also important that the international community is now preparing for how we can support Libya in this political transition,”
Norway followed UN Resolution 1973 giving it right to intervene in Libya for the protection of their citizens, known as the “Responsibility to Protect” (R2P). Helge Lurås, advisor at the Norwegian Institute of International Affairs (NUPI) maintains his view that Norway should have stayed out of Libya, as well as any other foreign powers..
“I think still we should not have intervened. The question was not whether NATO would be able to remove Gaddafi. It is the world's most powerful military alliance. Of course it would manage to remove the leader of a country with six million inhabitants. But the question is what is our interest in this? And what right to we have to get involved with an internal power struggle?” he said to Aftenposten.
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