In his July 7 op-ed, “Libya becomes a democracy,” Libyan Ambassador Ali Suleiman Aujali promised that “Libyans will never forget America’s leadership and commitment to protect civilians during the revolution,” but civilians need more than just memories of protection. The new Libyan government should make the explicit commitment to protect its own citizens going forward.
The revolution may be over, but throughout Libya, harm to civilians continues as a result of lingering tensions among armed factions, readily available weapons and no clear plan for security. The newly elected Libyan government needs to present an enforceable plan to protect civilians and help victims of violence.
As the ambassador noted, the Libyan people paid a high price for their freedom. It’s the government’s job to make sure they’re not continually footing the bill.