Letter from the Secretary-General

Question of Authorization

Download 484.41 Kb.
Size484.41 Kb.
1   2   3   4   5   6   7   8

Question of Authorization

The provisions of the UN Charter and North Atlantic Treaty, specifies that NATO’s particular field operations are overseen under the authorization of Security Council.149 Chapter VII of the UN Charter specifically indicates that use of force which includes collective self defence or does not serve for the sake of individuals, may only be used on the basis of a Security Council mandate.150 Thus, the Security Council is the only body which has de jure authorization over non-self defensive use of force.151 However, the Treaty does not refer any of the matters which exist in the Chapter VIII of the Charter focusing on the “regional organizations”.152 Thus, it may lead for the Charter to undermine the NATO’s freedom of action since NATO itself is a regional organization153 and as it is enforced in the Article 54 of the Charter that;

The Security Council shall at all times be kept fully informed of activities undertaken or in contemplation under regional arrangements or by regional agencies for the maintenance of international peace and security.”154

This would lead NATO to take actions only if permission is given by the UN Security Council.155 As a consequence, Russian Federation and PR China would veto all the alliance decisions.156 Instead of mentioning those clauses, the Treaty refers to the Article 51 of the Charter which enforces NATO to report to Security Council after self defence measures have been taken.157

NATO’s 2010 strategic concept includes that “Alliance is firmly committed to the purposes and principles of the Charter of the United Nations”, affirming “the primary responsibility of the Security Council for the maintenance of international peace and security”.158 It also states that NATO will “fulfil its task always in accordance with international law”.159

Nevertheless, neither NATO’s being a regional organization as defined in Chapter VIII of the Charter, nor the explicit expression of excluding NATO from undertaking offensive military actions without UN authorization, exists in the strategic plan.160


I. General Overview

Both in the Middle East and North Africa there were post-colonial autocratic regimes governed by military or reign based rulers.161 As a consequence, there was a strict distance between the governments and peoples. In certain regimes the governments drew their strengths from different aspects such as by; having the control of natural sources, taking the support of military forces and securing the domestic political balances.162 Not having democratic elections enabled the leaders to protect their status in the governments.163 Within this regard, the tensions were rising on the grounds of economic instability, income inequality, unemployment, and religious and sectarian tension.164 Therefore the governments were taking violent measures in order to suppress opponents and non-governmental organizations. Consequently, the methods of the governments were considered as challengeable by the people.165

II. Arab Spring Movement

Being the outcome of the combination of poverty, unemployment and political repression which are the three characteristics of most Arab countries; the Tunisian uprisings started after the self-immolation of a man named Mohamed Bouazizi in front of a government building in 17 December 2010.166 Four weeks of protests and demonstrations led the President Zine El Abidine Ben Ali to be forced out in 14 January 2011.

The spread of the news from Tunisia through social network triggered Arab world to take initiative to oust their leaders.167 Most of the demonstrations have been met with violent responses from the governments. During the uprisings, more than 200 people died and more than 90 people were injured.168

Uprisings were welcomed by Al-Qaida leaders, stating that "Our mujahedeen brothers in Tunisia, Egypt, Libya and the rest of the Muslim world will get a chance to breathe again after three decades of suffocation," while Qaddafi condemned the uprisings.169

The Tunisian revolution was considered as a breakthrough and inspired numerous uprisings in various countries such as Egypt, Algeria, Jordan, Libya and Syria, which soon was called as “Arab Spring” which is seen as one of the most important political and social movements in the last decades.170

III. Egypt

Following the withdrawal of Britain from Egypt after the Second World War, in 1947, the opposing views arose against King Farouk I who was installed by the British authorities.171 Being accused of poor economic and military performance in the country and corruption, King Farouk was overthrown by a military group named Free Officers with a coup d’état in July 29, 1952.172 The movement against constitutional monarchy was accomplished and in July 19, 1953; the existing constitution was abolished and the Free Officers declared Egypt a republic.173

Although it was a republic, until Hosni Mubarak became the president in 1981, elections had never been held by the government.174 The vice-presidents were deemed to be the successors of the presidents. Hosni Mubarak's predecessor, Anwar el-Sadat, was assassinated by the Islamist groups which opposed to peace with Israel.175 Then, Hosni Mubarak acceded and ruled Egypt for almost 30 years until the country was overcome by the wave of mass protests, in February 2011.176

  1. Before the protests: Rule of Hosni Mubarak and Causes of a Rebellion

Hosni Mubarak was selected as the president of Egypt for four times for six-year terms.177 However; he was the only candidate in each and every four elections. As for the last election held in 2005, the constitution was changed in order for the other candidates to compete against Mubarak.178 Nevertheless, he won the elections again and sworn in for his fifth term of presidency.179

Notwithstanding that Mubarak was accused by imprisoning critics,180 squelching opposition parties181 and manipulating the elections,182 from the very beginning of his presidency, Mubarak preserved amity with Israel and USA which led him to sharply suppress Islamic fundamentalism and terrorism.183

Mubarak is usually referred to as Egypt's modern pharaoh, not in an explicit way but quiescently, for the reason that government critics were consistently imprisoned and freedom of expression was restricted.184 For the reason that Mubarak had systematically eliminated civil and political institutions, there were no opponent decisions for him to negotiate with, therefore a system was formed which provides opportunity to his party and allies to change the policies in their will.185

From 1967 to 2012, with 18 months of suspension in 1980, the Egyptian government had used Emergency Law No. 162/1958 which was enacted after the Six-Day War with Israel.186 The law enforced the legalization of censorship, extension of police powers, suspension of constitutional rights, and prevention of street demonstrations and gives the government the right to imprison one without a reason.187 Based upon that, the terrorism and opposition groups such as Muslim Brotherhood as a threat to the national security, Mubarak extended the emergency law and manipulated the elections with arresting activists without trials.188 Human rights activists estimated that the Egyptian government had arrested 5,000 to 10,000 people without trial in 2010.189

One of the main issues was that Mubarak did not appoint a vice-president, while Article 82 of the constitution enforces that when the president is not capable of fulfilling his duties, all his executive powers shall be delegated to the vice president.190 Thus the successor of the presidency was a contradiction. It was argued that Gamal Mubarak, one of the two sons of Hosni Mubarak, would come to power after his father for the reason that he was already in charge of various domestic policy making matters.191 That would lead the way for the inheritance of power which was opposed by both left and right political groups in the country.192

Along with the governmental arguments, police brutality was another issue which was laid stress on, in Egypt.193 The international and national reports show that, under the authorization of the emergency law, the human rights were being violated by the police.194 Although the Mubarak regime denied; it was proven by the videos taken that torture, assault and abuse were used by the police to make people confess, take information or without any reason.195 Deployment of Mubarak’s own plainclothes officers called Baltageya which caused hundreds of deaths and wounds raised the tension among people.196

With the poor economy, income inequality and unemployment, discomposure gradually increased and it led the situation to get disordered.197

  1. Initial Protests and the Tunisian Influence

Following the events of self immolation of Mohamed Bouazizi, several demonstrations and stepping down of Zine El Abidine Ben Ali in Tunisia; it was assumed that the uprisings were initially to spread to Egypt on the grounds of having the same basis with Tunisian unrest.198 Hence, weeks later, self immolations occurred in Egypt in order to protest the current situation.199 It led the tension to rise on the way to a rebellion and the first and foremost demonstration was planned among activists through social media which was held in Tahrir Square on 25 January 2011.200

On 25 January, thousands of protesters gathered in Cairo, Alexandria, Suez and Ismailia simultaneously in order to stress the fact that Mubarak is no different than Ben Ali.201

  1. The Muslim Brotherhood

Muslim Brotherhood was instituted by Hassan el-Banna in 1928 in Egypt as a pan-Islamic political and social organization.202 According to the movement, the main reasons behind the income inequality, poor economy and social retrogression in Egypt was the influence of West on the way to the estrangement from the Islamic discipline.203 Therefore, the exact solution is to instil the Qur'an and Sunnah to the order of regular lives, community and state.204 Within this context, due to the activities of preaching Islam, doing charity works and political activism, the movement spread across the Arab world.205

Setting a paramilitary wing after the Second World War, the movement started to practice violent activities such as assassinations and bombings. Hence, it was banned and suspended by the Egyptian government in 1940s.206

During the Mubarak era, the conflict remained still between government and the Brotherhood. Therefore, the movement tried to re-enter the political arena and participated in all elections as a part of various coalitions.207 In the elections of 2005, they managed to gain 88 seats in the parliament which was equal to 20% of all, in spite of the repression by the government and electoral irregularities.208 Thus, along with being a forceful movement in society, it was now the strongest political opposition against Mubarak's party.209 After the elections, having been selected again, Mubarak put pressure on the Brotherhood and imprisoned hundreds of people.210

Once the protests began, the Brotherhood was involved with individual participation but not organizational.211 In the third day of the uprisings, on 27 January 2011, the Muslim Brotherhood declared its support to the protests.212 As the government made more concessions, the Brotherhood took part in the demonstrations in a more confident way.213 During the protests, Mohammed Mursi who was a senior Brotherhood leader stated their intension on the protests as; "We are not pushing this movement, but we are moving with it. We don't wish to lead it but we want to be part of it."214

  1. Timeline of the Revolution

On the 25th of January, the day known as ‘the day of rage’215, 2011 thousands started marching the streets of Cairo shouting “Down with Mubarak”216, police answered by using teargas and water cannons.217 The protests also spread to Alexandria and Aswan.218 The protesters got organized mostly on social media networks such as Twitter and Facebook.219 The following day the protests continued regardless of the official ban against it and the police continued its efforts to oppress the crowd using tear gas and live ammunition.220 On the 27th of January many reports stated that the Internet services were disrupted to stop the protesters from organizing more as the clashes between them and the police grew more violent.221 The next day Mubarak announced that the government will be replaced with a new one222, acknowledging the protests yet refused to step down from power.223

On the 31st of January, 250.000 people gathered in Cairo’s Tahrir Square224 regardless of the continuing service shortages in Internet225, the international community, led by United States of America and the European Union acted in unison and called for a democratic transition in Egypt.226 The following day Mubarak stated he will not run for presidency in the up-coming elections but would not step down from power.227 February 4th, known as the ‘Day of the Departure’, the opposition consisting of thousands protestors, gathered in the Tahrir Square as the uprising continued.228 The next day the leaders of the leading party started resigning from their posts, one by one, including the son of President Mubarak, Gamal Mubarak.229 The Egyptian Health Minister stated 11 were dead, the United Nations stated that 300 might be killed since the initiation of the protests.230 On the 6th of February, the Muslim Brotherhood made a statement that the group: “has decided to participate in a dialogue round in order to understand how serious the officials are in dealing with the demands of the people”.231 On the 10th of February Mubarak stated he will transfer some of his powers to the Vice-President, yet refused to step down.232 However the following day, after 18 days of violent mass protests, Mubarak resigned from his duties as the President of Egypt, leaving the governmental duties to the Army.233

Subsequent to the resignation of the 30-year-old ruler, celebrations started in Egypt, the state announced it will keep its current obligations under international treaties as Tahrir Square was being cleared out of protestors, signs and tents.234

  1. Post-Revolution Egypt

The Supreme Council of Armed Forces (SCAF), a group consisting of generals from the Egyptian Army, took over the governmental functions235, suspended the constitution236 and dissolved the parliament.237 As a consequence the military rule began in Egypt that would last until the 30th of June, 2012 when the new President Mohamed Morsi was inaugurated.238 In the meantime, the two houses of the Egyptian parliament were elected with the vast majority of the seats allocated to the Muslim Brotherhood and Islamists, rather than secular, liberal and leftists.239

Following these events, a new assembly was gathered to draft the new constitution, yet its proceedings got hampered when the Liberal parties and the Church-members of Egypt protested and not attended sessions in the face of the overwhelming majority and pressure of the Islamists.240 The date of the constitutional referendum was set as the 15th of December 2012, prior to it, more than 100.000 protesters walked to the Presidential Palace, asking the cancellation of the constitutional process.241 The referendum, however, took place with a low turnout and 63% of the voters in favour of the new constitution.242

On 25th of January, 2013 Tahrir Square was filled again with protestors, on the second-year anniversary of ‘the day of rage’, this time to protest President Morsi of the Muslim Brotherhood243, who has been unilaterally giving himself immunities, such as excluding his decisions from under the scope of judicial review.244 During January 2013, more than fifty people were killed as protests got violent one more time.245 In the following six-month period Muslim Brotherhood-dominated government extended its power as 13 of 27 governors were elected from Islamist groups.246 On the 30th of July 2013, a year after Morsi was inaugurated247, massive protests consisting of millions of people around Egypt against the Morsi government erupted, and sixteen people were killed in the clashes outside the Muslim Brotherhood’s headquarters in Cairo.248

On the 3rd of July, 2013 the military headed by General al-Sisi took control with an organized coup d’etat, suspending the constitution.249 Morsi was taken to an undisclosed location and is being held under house arrest.250 The head of the Supreme Court of Justice of Egypt, Adly Mansour was sworn in as an interim-president.251

In August 2012 the most violent clashes, where 600 people were killed252, occurred between the security forces and the supporters of Morsi and the Muslim Brotherhood who were camping in protest of the military regime253 in various places in Cairo, The Muslim Brotherhood called for the continuation of the protests.254 On 14th of July, 170 people were killed in the clashes in Ramses Square, Cairo.255

As of October 2013 the military rule continues as Egypt remains unstable.256 The military regime, having suspended the constitution and overthrown the only non-military President to be democratically elected in Egypt in the past 60 years, is subjected to criticism as whether it would bring back the authoritarian elements of the Mubarak regime.257

IV. Libya

  1. Before the protests: Colonel Muammar Gaddafi and 40 years of his rule

Libya is a North-African Mediterranean country and it has been independent since 1951, following a colonial-era under Italy’s control who took over from the Ottoman Empire in 1911.258 In 1959, significant amount of oil was discovered, making Libya, under the reign of King Idris, very wealthy.259 In 1969, Idris was forced out of power by a military coup d’etat260 under the leadership of a young Colonel named Muammar Gaddafi who then came to power.261 Col. Gaddafi followed a pan-Arab socialist agenda which led him to nationalize a major part of the economic activity, including the oil industry.262 In 1970, bases belonging to the United Kingdom and the United States of America were shut down.263 In 1977 the state name of Libya was changed from Libyan Arab Republic to Great Socialist People's Libyan Arab Jamahiriyah.264 From the beginning of the 1980s tensions grew between Libya and USA, in 1981 USA shot down 2 Libyan jets flying over the Mediterranean.265 In 1986 a nightclub in Berlin which was most commonly crammed with USA soldiers was bombed.266 USA claimed there were clear indications that the attack was organized by Libya.267 The same year, President of the USA, Ronald Reagan when answering a question on Libya and Gaddafi said “we know that this mad dog of the Middle East has a goal of a world revolution, Muslim fundamentalist revolution...”268 5 days after this statement the US bombed Tripoli and Benghazi, in response to the Berlin bombing.269

In 1988, a Pan Am passenger Flight 103 going from London to New York was blown up as it was flying over Lockerbie, Scotland, killing all of the 259 passengers and crew members on the plane and 11 on the ground.270 Two Libyan intelligence officers were suspected to have an involvement in the deadly terrorist attack and Gaddafi refused to hand them over.271 In 1992 the United Nations Security Council announced sanctions against Libya and the regime was shunned by the international community.272 Although weakened by the sanctions, it took 7 years of military embargoes and reduction of all diplomatic relations for Libya to hand over the 2 suspects, on the terms that they would be tried in a third party's Court.273 In 2001 one of the suspects was found guilty by the Scottish court set up in Netherlands.274 In 2003, Libya officially accepted the responsibility of the Lockerbie bombing and paid $2.7 billion as compensation to the 270 families.275

Following the events relating to the Lockerbie bombings, Libya’s attitude towards the West softened; in 2003 the government announced it would dismantle unconventional weapons, weapons of mass destruction.276 In 2004 Libya paid compensation $35 million for the nightclub bombing in Berlin,277 and in 2006 diplomatic relations with the US were restarted.278

In 2008 Gaddafi spoke at a conference in Columbia University, New York, stating: "There is no state with a democracy except Libya on the whole planet."279 The same year, Secretary of State of the US, Condoleezza Rice visited Libya as an indication of the level of diplomatic relations reached and Libya was the president of the Security Council in its monthly rotation and Gaddafi addressed the United Nations, first time since he took over in 1969.280 Overall, by the time the Arab Spring began, although relations with the international community were strained from the terrorist act, at the time the Arab Spring movement started, the Gaddafi regime was working towards a more cooperative diplomatic approach.281

  1. Protests, Clashes and the Security Council Response

During the last years of Gaddafi’s rule, Libya was shunned from the international community because of the Lockerbie bombing, putting a big strain on the economy. In the meantime the government was also heavily criticized for corruption and income inequality.282 The freedom of speech in Libya was inadequate and books were being burned.283 Although the socialist government provided free water, electricity, education and healthcare, incomes were low and the wealth provided from the vast oil sources was in the benefit of the government officials and the elite.284

On 15th of February 2011, the protests burning through the Middle East reached Libya, when human rights activist Fethi Tarbel was arrested.285 On the 17th of February 2011, ‘day of rage’286or ‘the day of the revolt’287, widespread anti-authoritarian protests started in Benghazi, Ajdabiya, Darnah and Zintan, government forces responded by opening fire at them, reportedly killing a dozen protestors.288 By the 20th of February the anti-Gaddafi rebellion had taken control over Benghazi289 and violent clashes continued.290 On the 21st of February, Gaddafi vowed to crush the rebels uprising against him.291 On the 26th of February, the United Nations Security Council, in unanimity, passed resolution 1970 under Chapter VII, initiating an arms embargo to Libya, referring the situation to the International Criminal Court and freezing the assets of Col. Gaddafi and his immediate family members.292 The National Transitional Council was founded on the 27th of February with wide-participation from the rebel forces, shortly followed by a declaration stating it is the sole representative of Libya.293

For the following 15 day period, the violence increased and no one seemed to have the upper-hand.294 On the 17th of March, the United Nations Security Council, passed resolution 1973 under Chapter VII.295 Resolution passed with 10 votes in favour and 5 states abstaining –Russia, China, India, Germany and Brazil.296 The resolution condemned the “gross and systematic violation of human rights, including arbitrary detentions, enforced disappearances, and torture and summary executions297 and authorized all states to take measures necessary to protect civilians and initiated an enforceable no-fly zone. 298

4. Authorizes Member States... acting nationally or through regional organizations or arrangements... to take all necessary measures... to protect civilians and civilian populated areas under threat of attack in the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya, including Benghazi, while excluding a foreign occupation force of any form on any part of Libyan territory...”(United Nations Security Council Resolution S/RES/1973 (2011))299

On March 19th, the French military was the first to strike Libyan government targets300, followed by British and American action under the name Operation Odyssey Dawn.301

It was not until 22nd of March when NATO took the first step by enforcing the arms embargo via sea as NATO ships in the Mediterranean started searching ships and preventing mercenaries to transmit weapons or any related material to Libya.302 By the 31st of March, the Alliance had taken control over all the international operations under the scope of the Security Council Resolution 1973, under the name Operation Unified Protector.303

The intense fighting went on for a couple of months, as NATO continued air-strikes. By the end of August, Tripoli was captured after days of violent fighting.304 By mid-September, 2011, it was clear that the Gaddafi regime was in its last days.305 The British Prime Minister and French President visited Libya, welcomed by cheering big crowds.306 In the meantime an interim government was formed by the National Transitional Council and recognized by the United Nations General Assembly on 16th of September.307 Even though the rebels had effectively taken control of the entire country, the last strong-hold of Gaddafi – his hometown Sirte- fell October 20th as the Colonel himself was captured and killed.308 On October 31st Operation Unified Protector was ended as all ships belonging to the Allies left Libyan waters to return home.309

  1. Share with your friends:
1   2   3   4   5   6   7   8

The database is protected by copyright ©essaydocs.org 2020
send message

    Main page