August 2, 2020

Foreign Powers Battle For Libya's Oil

A showdown looms in the fight for control of the country -- with Africa's largest oilfields as the prize

by Bethan McKernan

In August 2011, as Libya's rebels and Nato jets began an assault on Tripoli, Colonel Muammar Gaddafi delivered a speech calling on his supporters to defend the country from foreign invaders.

"There is a conspiracy to control Libyan oil and to control Libyan land, to colonise Libya once again. This is impossible, impossible. We will fight until the last man and last woman to defend Libya from east to west, north to south," he said in a message broadcast by a pro-regime television station. Two months later, the dictator was dragged bleeding and confused from a storm drain in his hometown of Sirte, before being killed.

Nine years on, after the outbreak of a second civil war, Gaddafi's proclamation is not far from the truth -- but as the US has retreated from the role it played in his downfall, a constellation of emboldened regional powers has descended on Libya instead. As the battle moves to Sirte, gateway to the country's oil crescent, . . .


Enver Masud, "Libya CW Factory(?) U.S. Threatened To Nuke Opens," The Wisdom Fund, September 4, 1996

Andrew Buncombe and Paul Kelbie, "Libya Gives £1.7bn to the Victims of Lockerbie, But the Questions Remain," The Independent (UK), August 15, 2003

"Libya: A 'Socialist Paradise' Under Colonial Attack," The Wisdom Fund, April 1, 2011

Jean-Paul Pougala, "The Lies Behind the West's War on Libya,", April 14, 2011

Robert D. Crane, "Qaddafi Launched Program to Privatize Libya's Oil to Every Citizen of Libya," The Wisdom Fund, May 12, 2011

Nick Turse, "Violence Has Spiked in Africa Since the Military Founded AFRICOM, Pentagon Study Finds," The Intercept, July 29 2019

back button