NEW DELHI, 25 July-2014, Indrani Bagchi: Even as the government struggles to bring back over 40 Indian workers captured by ISIS in Iraq, an Indian family has been abducted in violence-ridden Libya.
There is little clarity about who kidnapped them, but initial reports said the Indian family was abducted while driving on the highway to Tripoli. It’s still not clear who abducted them, making the government’s job more difficult.
There have been fierce clashes between militias in Tripoli and Banghazi this week, sparking fears that Libya is fast slipping into lawlessness.
Libya has been a hotbed of violence between different militias for the past couple of years, but the situation has become worse since the June 25 presidential elections and past weeks have witnessed some of the worst clashes. This week, the UN Security Council issued another statement calling on all sides to engage in political dialogue and refrain from fighting, yet another sign of how helpless the global watchdog has become in stopping violence in some of the worst trouble-spots in the world. On Wednesday, the Council expressed support to the UN Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL). The UN force was shelled and attacked by the militia to the extent that the UN first reduced its forces and then withdrew it altogether.
The fighting between the militias is the worst in and around Tripoli airport, which will make it virtually impossible to bring people out if the need arises. In 2011, India evacuated almost 17,000 people from Libya after the NATO bombardment and fighting started in that country.
According to media reports, the fighting has taken a toll on Libya’s oil industry, which resumed production only recently.
(Input source: TNN)