by Rory MacKinnon
Britain’s aid package for Libya is cause for alarm, not relief, Stop the War Coalition said today.
The comments followed a statement from David Cameron’s office today outlining a “post-conflict package” that it claimed would help rebuild the country and improve its humanitarian situation.
The pledge includes a six-month “military liaison team” to seek out and destroy pro-Gadaffi forces’ weapon stockpiles, as well as £1 million in funding for NGOs specialising in weapons decommissioning.
It also includes £60,000 worth of communications gear for Benghazi police and £600,000 in funding for Mines Advisory Group International’s Libyan operations.
The deal also offers 50 beds at specialist hospitals in Britain – to be paid for by the Libyan authorities themselves.
Finally it would unfreeze around £600m of assets previously controlled by Muammar Gadaffi’s regime, ahead of a UN resolution which would release a further £12 billion “to support transition and stabilisation over the coming months.”
“And it will enable the Libyan oil companies to operate freely, which is critical to Libya meeting its immediate needs and funding its own reconstruction,” the statement concluded.
Stop the War Coalition co-ordinator Chris Nineham said Britain’s role in post-Gadaffi Libya was becoming “almost colonial.”
“It’s an alarming development and shows it’s about controlling outcomes in the Nato intervention.
“It just shows what’s really happening here is that Libya’s being remade as a Nato protectorate,” he said.
“If Cameron’s government was genuinely concerned with human rights they would not have invited neighbouring nation Bahrain to this week’s DSEI arms fair in London.”