By Abdelkader Assad, freelance journalist
Since 2014, Libya has been a country for proxy wars and agenda-driven conflicts with too many hands trying to move the country to their side.
War on terror, radicalism, extremism, civil war, tribal conflicts, and last but not least: illegal immigration and internal displacement. All of these have made up the fabric of the Libyan state since 2014.
However, it took a CNN report for the world to act. It took a CNN voice and a CNN mobile video footage from a mysterious night-filmed lot in Libya – if it were true – to rally the whole world around the need to end illegal immigrants’ presence in Libya.
CNN’s Nima Elbagir claimed that the seconds-long video she helped shoot in the ambiguous Libyan suburban farm showing African migrants being sold for little money was the most horrific and heinous scenes she had ever seen in her entire life! Oh, spare me CNN! What about the wars in the world and most specifically the conflicts in Sudan, South Sudan and Darfur: the country Elbagir calls home?
CNN wants to start a war in Libya
To all appearances, the CNN report is purely humanitarian and aims to shed light on the abuses the illegal immigrants from Africa are putting up with in Libya, but beneath the lines lies the true motive, which is promoting a new notion in the conflict in Libya: slavery. By slavery in Libya, CNN made the whole world focused on one thing regarding the Libyan crisis and made them, on the other hand, forget everything else that matters, such as political division in Libya, humanitarian and economic crises, internal displacement, lack of land and coast borders’ security, foreign intervention and the list goes on.
What about all of these issues, what about ISIS presence in Libya, doesn’t need a CNN special report?
It is beyond doubt that there are violations in Libya against illegal immigrants, but those violations are individual acts and most of them are registered as being committed by human traffickers and smuggling gangs, which are part of international criminal networks.
CNN is fake news says Trump, why not apply it to Libya’s report
While Twitter and social media is awash with the comments of the US President Donald Trump saying CNN is fake news, the US administration rushed to adopt the rhetoric of the CNN regarding slavery in Libya and looked away from all the comments Trump made about the liability of the network. I am not questioning the CNN’s liability, but rather its ability of starting wars in the world through its ill-based reports – and Iraq is no exception. When the CNN wanted to push Bush’s rhetoric about war on Iraq for weapons of mass destruction, it succeeded and here is Iraq a living example of failure and ill-judgment, so it would not be quite difficult for the CNN to make the world act based on its reports and they did as they met at the UN Security Council and condemned slavery in Libya just because they saw a blurry video footage on the CNN that says Africans are being sold in Libya.
Airstrikes on Derna, Benghazi and civilians killed
The CNN did not report on the Derna siege where thousands of civilians are denied food and medicines as well as freedom in eastern Libya by the so-called Libyan army forces led by the US citizen Khalifa Haftar. It did not also send its reporters on a secret mission to investigate the destruction and waves of displacement in Benghazi that have been taking place since 2014. If it did, maybe the world would have gathered and decided to end the conflict and the destruction in eastern Libya as it did agree on evacuating the migrants lest they get enslaved by the Libyans!
Too much ado about nothing, double standards
The status quo in Libya will remain the same as long as there will be reports coming from local and not-so-powerful organizations and all they report will remain too much ado about nothing in the eyes of the international community, but when the CNN or any other prestigious network reports an issue from Libya then that issue is top urgent and the world must act, thanks to double standards.
Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the writer, and do not necessarily reflect those of the Libya Observer