Another interesting nugget from The Libyan Revolution and Its Aftermath. One of the recurring themes of the first section, detailing the structure of the uprising itself, is the – at times – divisive role of Qatar. It seemed intent on establishing its own command centres as spheres of influence, working in competition with those liaising … More Qatar, Al Jazeera and Islamists in Libya
I’ll write more about this new book on Libya, the ousting of Colonel Gaddafi and what came next once I have finished reading it. But for those of us who were there in 2011 and haven’t been back, it puts together a lot of the snippets of info, rumours and hints into a satisfying narrative, … More What happened in Libya?
I was in Benghazi on the morning when Gadaffi troops stormed its streets in 2011. Shells bracketed through the city, almost street by street . The place was in fear, aware that as the cradle of the revolution its residents would not be spared. Mosques boomed “Allahu Akhbar” from their minarets – part warning, part … More Whatever you think about intervention, there’s no alternative in Iraq. Today. This minute
On one of my final visits to Khartoum I was discussing the gnarly old peace-versus-justice debate with a diplomat, who used a comparison with a peace process closer to home. She was making a point about the utility of issuing a warrant for the arrest of President Omar al-Bashir even as negotiations continued for independence … More Peace v Justice: Lessons from Northern Ireland
It was a conversation we returned to many times as we sipped caffe macchiatos in Benghazi’s Ouzu hotel back in March. I would sit in the evenings with pals – mostly old Africa hands who had learned their trade covering conflict in Somalia, Sudan, Democratic Republic of Congo – discussing the young freelancers who had … More War Reporting for Newbies
Above is a pic I did a few months ago of the kit I was taking on the road for a particular trip. This time I forgot a load of things: Prescription sunglasses – brilliant because it means that you don’t have to mess around with contact lenses in hot, dry, dusty conditions. This time … More The Stuff I Forgot
I was for intervention in Iraq. Opposed to intervening in Darfur. In favour of getting involved in Libya. But Syria doesn’t seem such a good idea. Watching from the ground as Nato has bombed Gaddafi from power has crystallised for me exactly when humanitarian intervention is a good idea – and when it might cause … More Some More Thoughts on Humanitarian Intervention