Recently, there were growing calls for the EU and the global community to take a firm stand contrary to the pro-democracy protests and contrary to the Lukashenko regime in Belarus. The EU should exercise extreme caution in this time and understand the lessons from the previous time Europe took a direct hand in an uprising from a long-time dictator: in Libya.
Since combatants in the civil war in Libya, together with all the attendant foreign backers on each facet, toy using attaining a ceasefire following nine decades of chaos, the course of Libya are applicable for Belarus.
In this way, it had been directed (largely but not entirely) by European nations, but it was marked with the branches it created inside Europe. As it happens, those concerned about unintended consequences were correct to worry about The decade of uncertainty and violence that Libya has endured since Qadhafi’s collapse is a stark warning of what could go wrong following a dictatorship collapses
This isn’t to apologize to the dreadful crimes of Qadhafi’s regime, nor to indicate that it might have been better for him to have stayed in power. This was in large part (although not entirely ) a role of the dispossession of fans of the Qadhafi regime, that commanded key areas of the security forces along with revenue-generating parts of the state. There’s a good and somewhat unrecognized threat of the same thing happening in Belarus.
Qadhafi sat on the peak of a complex system of patronage and alliances, which comprised a lot of Libya’s inhabitants. This system was established around the supply of petroleum revenues, involvement by favored groups from the security services, and also the exception of non-favored classes, and access to state contracts and support provision. These kinds of patronage were interwoven with one another and others to create a net that connected many individuals at all levels of Libyan society into Qadhafi, whether via devotion or through profiteering.
Following Qadhafi’s autumn, there was a good deal of score-settling involving groups and individuals, since the victorious revolutionaries and previously oppressed classes sought to seize charge of the nation, and sometimes, to reap the benefits they were refused for decades. Qadhafi’s policy of placing distinct regional communities from one another, dividing Libya along communitarian and familial lines (“tribal branches” as they’re sometimes called), supposed there were excellent many significant wounds in today following the revolution.
A number of the injustices of the regime were settled during violence during and following the revolution in 2011, resulting in a massive section of the Libyan population dropping out throughout the regime shift and supplying considerable motives to allow them to back yet another strongman leader, Khalifa Haftar.
Despite differences in culture and history, there are several substantial similarities to Libya in Belarus. Lukashenko has promised his regime via an intricate network of state-owned businesses, which behave as a source of patronage, and during selective recruitment to the top echelons of their security services. These former (and present ) safety heavyweights are spread not only in government but also from the state-owned businesses which are an integral portion of the nation’s revenue (and consequently individual profit too ).
This system of Siloviki is spent in the existence of the program and controls the crucial security associations which have taken the lead in repressing the protests. There’s a clear parallel with Libya, in which the Qadhafi regime was safeguarded by security and military units loyal to the dictator (and in 1 instance, headed by his son). Together with the state workers, compliant company leaders, and also the families of those implicated in the plan, there’s a sizable portion of Belarussian society that stands to lose out at any overthrow of Lukashenko.
None of this is a debate for encouraging Lukashenko any over it had been an argument for financing Qadhafi. These complex support arrangements for the program argue to get a balanced and cautious approach to Belarus. It’s a mistake to find that the Lukashenko regime as one homogeneous block that should be overthrown. In the dictator right down, there’s a complex network of people, their families, friends, and partners who count on the program and take advantage of it to varying degrees.
This doesn’t suggest that the regime can’t or shouldn’t be reformed or eliminated, but that this type of procedure will signify both winners and losers throughout Belarusian society. As was observed in Libya, this kind of practice of violent shift doesn’t necessarily result in peace and equilibrium but rather too protracted fragmentation and violence.
The EU must strategy Belarus using a fantastic deal of caution. Much like Libya, there’s a highly effective external celebrity, Russia, that will want to enforce its desires on the circumstance. Additionally, multiple factions within the nation will have their aims, and in the instance of this regime safety devices, will be prepared and ready to use violence to reach them at a post-Lukashenko situation.
The EU should begin planning for numerous results in Belarus while expressing support for its legitimate desire for justice and democracy to the part of the resistance, the bloc also has to be ready for a more optimistic and more damn outcome if Lukashenko fall.