Thursday, April 21, 2011

Questions for Dutch Minister of Foreign Affairs on Libya

Questions for the Dutch Foreign Minister on the Dutch involvement on the attack on Libya.

Dear Mr. Meijer,


I am writing a story on the NATO attack on Libya and would like to get some information on the Dutch policy vis-à-vis Libya. I will appreciate an early reply.
Specifically, I have the following questions:

1. What is the official Dutch government position on the situation in Libya?

2. One of the prerogatives of states is that they hold monopoly on the instruments of violence within their territory. No country will permit an armed-uprising; is a new precedent not being set by the Western Powers in supporting an armed group in Libya? What is the Dutch government’s position on supporting armed rebellion in other countries?

3. Although UNSC Resolution 1973, specifically, did not authorised action to violate the sovereignty of Libya in the name of human rights, nor action in support of the anti-government rebels nor “regime-change” in Libya, today some Western governments (UK, France and the USA) openly called for “regime change,” and have announced plans to send ‘military advisors’ to aid the Libyan “pro-democracy forces.” What is the position of the Dutch government on regime change in Libya?

4. There appears to be a stalemate in Libya, what exactly is the outcome envisioned by the Dutch government in Libya?

5. How feasible is the desire of the West to impose democracy and Human Rights by military violence and where should we draw the line?

6. What is the response of the Dutch government to the charges by some African commentators that the attacked smacked of double-standards - given the fact that numerous resolutions of the United Nations remain unenforced by the Western Powers? You can see a long list here:

7. Given the fact that Libya is, at least, geographically in Africa, why did the Western powers decided to ignore the publicly-stated position of the African Union (AU) condemning any military solution to the crises in Libya?

8. Why is the West ever so eager to employ military force in non-western people\nations, rather than use its considerable powers to compel antagonists to the Conference Table, like providing them with non-lethal (good offices) means to resolve their differences?

9. And what would be the response of the Dutch government to accusations that Africa is being re-colonised. This being derived from the fact that the Western powers continue to hold meetings in European capitals (London, Paris, Berlin) to decide the future of an African country, Libya, which brings back to memory the infamous Berlin Conference of 1884-5?

10. How would the Dutch government react to accusations that the West is trying to counter China’s incursions to Africa. Cited as example is one of the leaks from the Wikileaks’ memos, where we read the following: “1.(C/NF) Summary: Libya's National Oil Corporation (NOC) renegotiated the terms of its production sharing agreements with France's Total and its partners in Libya (Germany's Wintershall and Norway's StatoilHydro), adjusting the existing stand-alone contracts to bring them into compliance with the Exploration and Production Sharing Agreement (EPSA) rubric. The renegotiation of Total's contract is of a piece with the NOC's effort to renegotiate existing contracts to increase the Libya's share of crude oil production... the renegotiated agreements could adversely impact his revenue stream. End Summary.” See:

11. What would be the response of the Dutch government to another concern of Africans, especially those who live in Europe, why countries like France and the Netherlands which continue to treat them with impunity, would want to assume high moral grounds on Human Rights and Democracy in Africa? You can see an example of the treatment of African women and children in France here:

12. It was a Dutch man Hugo Grotius who, in his seminal work, titled De Jure Belli ac Pacis Libri Tres (Of the Laws of War and Peace) published in 1623, wrote: “Throughout the Christian world, I observed a lack of restraint in relation to war, such as even barbarous races should be ashamed of; I observed that men rush to arms for slight causes, or no cause at all, and that when arms have once been taken up there is no longer any respect for law, divine or human; it is as if, in accordance with a general decree, frenzy had openly been let loose for the committing of all crimes. Confronted with such utter ruthlessness many men, who are the very furthest from being bad men, have come to the point of forbidding all use of arms to the Christian, whose rule of conduct above everything else comprises the duty of loving all men.”

Today, we look at Iraq, Afghanistan, La Cote d’ivoire and Libya, and see that not much has changed since 1623. Can we look forward to a time that the west will, in the words of the Christian Bible, turn its sword into plowshare and attain to resolve conflicts through peaceful means rather than on wholesale military violence?

All best,

Femi Akomolafe

1 comment:

sinaisix said...

I can swear you'll never receive any *sensible* reply from them till judgement day...

Wise saying:

" Never use both feet to test the depth of the sea." - African proverb