By Libya Herald reporters.
Tripoli, 24 April 2015:
British Prime Minister David Cameron has insisted that the mounting toll of migrant deaths is . . .[restrict]the responsibility of the “traffickers and gangs”.
He rejected UK opposition claims, made during Britain’s current general election campaign, that the lack of planning by the coalition, whose airstrikes helped oust Qaddafi, contributed to the present migrant crisis.
He insisted that he had made the right choices. “What we did, did stop Qaddafi carrying out a genocide, and that I think is important,” he said during a UK TV interview today with Channel Four News.
The UK had not abandoned Libya. “After the end of the conflict we met repeatedly with the Libyan authorities. I took the Libyan Prime Minister (Ali Zeidan) to the G8 meeting in Northern Ireland to get the most advanced countries in the world around the table with the Libyan Prime Minister.
“We all pledged, and Britain played its part in trying to train up Libyan security forces. We put aid money into Libya. I don’t accept we didn’t have a plan – we did”.
Cameron said that not putting troops into Libya at the end of the conflict, avoiding an attempt to enforce change, had been the right call. It would not have worked, he said, and would probably have created “more resentment, more terrorism, more problems”.
Turning to the migrant crisis, he said a strategy was needed. Search and rescue was important but by itself, it would not solve the problem.
“We can crack this, but it is going to take time, “ he said, “it is going to take a lot of work and it is going to take a comprehensive approach. Yesterday in Brussels we made a good start, but there is a lot to do”.