Press TV has conducted an interview with Abayomi Azikiwe, editor of Pan-African News Wire in Detroit, to discuss the Takfiri Daesh terrorists’ grip over the northern Libyan city of Sirte.
The following is a rough transcription of the interview.
Press TV: If nothing is done in Libya, how likely could ISIL terrorists take control of the whole of the country?
Azikiwe: It is unlikely they will take control of the entire country but it of course is contributing to the overall instability that has existed there over the last four years. They have launched attacks in various parts of the country including Derna in the east. They have also carried out operations in the south and now of course in the western coastal city of Sirte which is the hometown of the former leader Muammar Gaddafi.
So I think it is in overall a quest to further the instability inside of Libya. Also various countries in the region have been carrying out airstrikes not only against IS but also against other Islamist organizations inside the country.
So the intervention of this so-called Islamic State over the last several months will of course pose a greater challenge to the society in Libya in regard to forging some type of unified, political and social system inside the country.
Press TV: On another level, how strong is the presence of ISIL in the whole of Africa?
Azikiwe: They are of course sending in fighters. They have attempted to win the allegiance of the Boko Haram sect in Nigeria. There have also been reports in the Republic of Sudan that some people have been arrested and are being detained who they suspect are IS operatives.
Also there is a question about Libya because with no uniformed political, military or judicial system in Libya it creates an atmosphere for groups like ISIL to come in and create havoc in Libya. The United Nations has attempted in recent weeks to restart negotiations to bring both the imperialist recognized government that is based in Tobruk as well as the Libya Dawn group from Misrata which is controlled in the capital of Tripoli to bring them together but there are other elements involved who apparently do not want unity and therefore it is going to be even a greater challenge in Libya to bring about some type of a stable system.
Press TV: And so what can the African Union do?
Azikiwe: They need to be involved. They need to be deeply engaged in what is going on there. The refugee crisis, the crisis of migrants who are flowing through Libya, who are being … by these human traffickers, people are paying huge sums of money in the belief that they can get out of Libya, they can get out of Nigeria and other parts of the region including Syria, including Iraq as far away as Central and South Asia, these migrants are coming from thinking that life will be better in Southern Europe. But as we have seen over the last several months the conditions that people are living under in Greece, in Italy and in other countries even as far away as the UK are deplorable conditions. There is still a lot of anti-immigrant bias in Western Europe as well as economic challenges there as well.
I mean the Greek government already has a profound challenge just trying to take care of his own people and yet we have this large influx of migrants into Greece as well. So I do not think it is a solution for the people of Africa, the Middle East and Central and South Asia in their attempt to flee the conditions there to go to Europe.
The United States and other NATO countries are responsible for these wars, the destabilization in Afghanistan that spilled over into Pakistan, in Syria and it is spilling over into Iraq and Lebanon, the situation in Yemen which is backed by the United States as well as the situation in Libya. Right now the United Nations says that over 60 million people are displaced either outside their borders or internally displaced. This is a major crisis. It all stems from imperialist policies emanating from West and Wall Street.
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