Libya

West Sussex County Times Article

When, five months ago, Britain began military action to protect Libyan civilians, some of my constituents expressed reservations about it, and many wondered if the operation would be successful.

We must remember that, at the time, Gaddafi's troops were poised to begin a slaughter of the people in Misrata.  Our intervention has prevented that catastrophe and has allowed the rebel forces to secure their freedom.

Nor were we alone.  The action was authorised by the UN Security Council and was part of a NATO operation - including the United States and France - with support from Arab countries.

The campaign, including carefully targeted bombing campaigns against military targets, has not been swift but it has been steadily successful.  The end is surely near for Gaddafi.  As the capital Tripoli falls it is clear that he no longer controls the country.  He must stop fighting and end further bloodshed.

The scenes of jubiliation on the streets are moving.  And despite the suffering of the Libyan people in the face of terrible atrocities, the Libyan National Transition Council has made impressive public statements about building a peace.

The process of transition will not be easy and the scale of the challenges ahead should not be underestimated.  Britain's task now is to do all we can to support the will of the Libyan people, which is for an effective transition to a free, democratic and inclusive Libya.

This will be a Libyan-led and Libyan-owned process with broad international support co-ordinated by the UN.  The wider NATO mission is to protect civilians and that will continue for as long as it is needed.

We have already deployed medical supplies.  In the coming days it will be important to make sure the communications networks, the electricity, the power supplies, fuel and water are maintained or repaired where they need to be.

Along with the vast majority of MPs, I voted in March to authorise military action.  Today, as we see Gadaffi's terrible regime crumble, I feel proud of our armed forces and the role Britain has played in helping to overcome tyranny and save lives.

Document type

Articles

Published

25 August 2011

Back · New Media centre search

"I pledge to work hard for everyone in the constituency, to stand up for local people, and to be a strong voice at Westminster for your concerns"