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AU silence on overthrow of Gaddafi cause of Libyan mess – Hamid

Information Minister Mustapha Hamid says African leaders are to blame for the Libyan crisis.

He said the silence of the African Union (AU) during the overthrow of the then Libyan President Muammar Gaddafi in 2011 is responsible for the country’s mess.

At the joint Joy News/DW TV programme on Africa’s migration crisis Thursday, he said it is “very difficult” to defend the inaction of the continent’s leaders at the time.

“We can blame the AU for standing by and allowing foreign powers to remove our leadership that has resulted in the thing that is going on [in Libya],” Mr Hamid said.

The North African country was plunged into chaos after its leader, Muammar Gaddafi was killed in an operation carried out by the United States and its allies during the 2011 uprising.

Former US President Barack Obama admitted in a 2016 interview, days before his handing over his regime’s toppling of the Libyan president was his worst mistake.

“Probably failing to plan for the day after what I think was the right thing to do in intervening in Libya,” he told Fox News.

Libya has three governments, the UN-backed regime that controls major parts of Tripoli and the two others led by militant groups that are controlling other territories.

The presence of militias has created a situation where the country has become a major departure point for migrants trying to reach Europe.

The International Organisation for Migration (IOM) has estimated there are between 700,000 to one million African migrants, awaiting their turn to cross the Mediterranean.

But that was not the case when Mr Hamid was in Tripoli in 1992 to attend an African Students’ Union conference.

“Even at that time there were a lot of Ghanaians working there but the situation, we all agree, ever since the overthrow of Gaddafi has worsened,” the Information Minister said.

He believes the welfare of Libyans would have been improved had the US and its allies not undertaken that operation.

But the government of Ghana is working to create more opportunities for the youth in order to stop illegal migration.

“On our part, we recognize the responsibility that is on us to expand the economy, create the jobs that will give confidence to our young people to stay in the country,” he said.