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2012-11-26

Libya drone planes: protection or peeve?

By Essam Mohamed for Magharebia in Tripoli – 26/11/12

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One year after Libyan rebels dislodged the Kadhafi government, many still struggle with the aftershocks of the civil war. Even as life returns to normal and the new government takes control, signs of instability and security fears persist.

Most telling of them is the unnerving sound of reconnaissance planes hovering over Libyan cities.

"Citizens object to them because of their noise or because of people's sensitivity about foreign espionage. To Libyans, they are foreign planes," military advisor Dhaoui Bouras told Magharebia.

However, despite the inconveniences the drones cause to daily life, they play an important role in holding security dangers at bay, Bouras said.

"These planes can make good contributions to the counter-terrorism effort based on intelligence and aerial reconnaissance by Libyans in the Libyan army. They are excellent for protecting security and providing information on suspicious movements," he said.

Foreign planes operate in the country under the UN Chapter 7, "to which Libya is still subjected", Bouras noted.

The chapter allows military and non-military action to stave off "any threat to the peace, breach of the peace, or act of aggression". In March 2011, the UN Security Council adopted Resolution 1973, which authorised all possible means to protect civilians against Moamer Kadhafi's forces.

"The allied forces were effective in taking out Kadhafi's forces and security during the revolution thanks to these planes," military communications officer Abdel Razzak al-Bakhbakhi told Magharebia.

"These planes provide major solutions for collecting information and they are cheaper and easier to use than regular planes, especially as our country has a large land area and we have long borders with several countries," he said.

This type of aircraft can be used by Libyan border guards to intercept drug dealers and combat trafficking, al-Bakhbakhi added.

According to former high-ranking air force officer Asad al-Alem, the planes are "an important" element in providing security and hunting down terrorists.

Their key purpose is to "monitor and collect information", commented security analyst Juma Naoufel al-Meshri. But operations must be restricted to espionage, he argued.

"Any attempt to launch any missiles will get us into a whirlpool that we don’t know how to get out of," Al-Meshri said.

In Benghazi, residents see these reconnaissance planes all the time. The disruptions they cause to daily life have become a common joke in the city.

"Come, pilot, have dinner with us and stop disturbing us," locals say.

People are far more serious when it comes to the gravity of security challenges weighing on post-war Libya.

Libya still faces a number of serious threats, from arms smuggling, drug trafficking and illegal immigration to assassinations and explosions, Tripoli teacher Mahasin bin Mahmoud told Magharebia.

"We have a confidence crisis with the government," said Embarka Amraja, a medical school student and member of the Islamist Justice and Construction Party in Benghazi.

"We have to have confidence so as to build the state and address all of its issues, the most prominent of which is the security file and the integration of revolutionaries," Amraja added.

Even though many Libyans do not see the reason and effects of "these noisy planes" and only hear their "disturbing buzz", reconnaissance planes bear unseen positive fruits, opined student Salma al-Tarhuni.

"The use of drones is sometimes made for protection," engineering student Assad agreed.

Legal activist Amira Jribi said, "If such planes are respecting our sovereignty and are operating out from our national airports, then they are welcome."

"In this case, they will definitely make citizens feel secure," Jibri added. "But if they are roaming our skies without a justification, this will be a clear breach of our national sovereignty, and if they are roaming our skies under agreements, the people must be advised of the details of these agreements because they are directly related to our country's security."

But the main counter-terror battle must unfold elsewhere, the activist pointed out. "People like us must stand up against terrorism here on the ground before it is countered in the skies," she said.

What do you think of this article?

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  1. Anonymous_thumb

    اوفياء لك يا زعيم 2013-2-3

    God, Libya and Moamer only!

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    محسن.ر.بن حميدة. 2013-2-2

    To azdenalwahej who posted three days ago "Everything you say is nonsense, you are only good at..." Your words are true my brother. May God guide everyone. However, when you say that in Libya there are 4 million people, you forgot your immigrant brothers are about 2 millions. Is revolution like this? Does it desert its people, kill them, wound them, destroy them and imprison them? What is requested now from all Libyans is total reconciliation. Libyans should "wash their brains with a good washing product", reconcile with each other in everything, release all prisoners regardless of their cases and open a new page. The past can't be brought back. God is eternal. God the Almighty says "The life of this world is only the enjoyment of deception."

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    محسن 2013-2-1

    Those who aren't convinced about the role of Kadhafi in the balance of the region should just imagine if Algeria falls now!!!! Kadhafi was an impenetrable shield and was lost by the Arab Maghreb. May God ruin all agents and idiots!

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    بنت معمر 2013-1-31

    No one else but Moamer!

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    مصطفى 2013-1-30

    The buried is dead. Now Libya is a new state. These planes are intended to protect borders. The dogs bark, but the caravan goes on. Salam.

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    azdenalwahej 2013-1-30

    Everything you say is nonsense. You are only good in turning in a vicious circle, sterile debate and hollow thinking. You are supposed to and ought to advise Libyans with immediate solutions for the suffering of the people who are expecting from you goodness, self-respect and appreciation of the rights of the honest, chaste, generous Libyan citizen who loves his country and refuses to renounce to it. Every citizen pins hopes on the new state to live in prosperity, stability, enjoy a dignified life and decent income, lead a good life as he is supposed because, as everyone knows, there are abundant natural and industrial resources. It is the right of all citizens to enjoy their lives in their country from resources of which they were deprived. A last word, we Libyans are less than four millions. So why has nothing be done yet for Libyans?

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    الفاتح ابدا 2013-1-29

    Moamer was 100% noble and honest. He was the Arabs' leader. There is no one like him. As for those who betrayed religion and nationalism, they are disgraceful rats who are not worthy of Libya.

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    درناوي 2013-1-25

    Moamer is dead and left girls! Men of Ansar al-sharia who don't fear aircraft in Derna and Benghazi. There is always the sound of explosions. God is the greatest! Establishing sharia or the destruction of the country? You must choose O algae and you pagans of congress? We are Al Qaeda and we will stay in Libya which is our Kandahar.

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    صلاح رجب 2013-1-25

    Libya is for Libyans only. May God calm the spirits! Its territory is dear and its blood is hot. Some patience and welfare will spread. God is the greatest above all the tyrants and despots!

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    ليبي حر 2013-1-25

    O rats calm down, your master Moamer is far from you!

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    محمود الجهمي 2013-1-21

    We hope God will help us against the remnants of the former regime.

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    شرشابيل 2013-1-20

    It is not up to rats or parasites. God is above all! "Indeed, Allah will not change the condition of a people until they change what is inside their hearts ." God and God's blessings are the pillars of Life and to hell with Moamer!

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    ليبي وحر 2013-1-20

    To all those who weep over the destroyer and those who benefited from his existence (from Algeria), I say the party is over and the buried is dead. Exalted be God! We are optimistic about the future. God willing, God will strengthen us more and we will be the best free democratic country. We will live in the wealth of our dear Libya. By God, then the messenger then Libya alone!

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    ليبي حر 2013-1-19

    No comment about supporters of the corrupt regime except that they are ignoramuses just like the Arab brothers who love the tyrant.

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    ليبي جمر على الطحالب 2013-1-18

    To those who are talking about NATO and repeating the pagan slogan, go back to the past, during days of slavery in the era of revolutionary committees, internal and external security to see the number of heroes who were executed and whose families were displaced. You just keep law 15 and let’s now build Libya as we want. You should wash your mouths with flower water before you talk about rebels who gave you an opportunity to talk freely, you people of law breed!

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    uf$ hgrh$v 2013-1-12

    The responsibility for every Libyan killed is shouldered by the dogs who brought us destruction. We were in welfare and grace. May God destroy Bouchenna!

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    عبد الحق 2013-1-9

    Every Libyan feels regret and disgrace in his heart for everything that happened.

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    عبد الحق 2013-1-9

    To ليبي الله غالب who posted 2 years ago. If you were smart, intelligent and honest in expressing yourself, you would have said that the whip of Moamer is more bearable than the sound of the plane. Do you know what plane this is? NATO'S of course.

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    مراقب 2013-1-8

    God, Libya and Moamer only! To hell with rats! There is not one good man among them!

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    ليبي الله غالب 2013-1-7

    The sound of a plane is more bearable than the sound of Moamer!

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    سيف الدين 2013-1-6

    The homeland is not a game o impure rats! Anyone who plotted against Libya and brought NATO has desecrated the history of Libya throughout ages. It is a disgrace which will never be erased. There should be a revolution against rats regardless of the cost. History is merciless. Come on Libyans rise against those who desecrated your history and the history of your grandfathers, killed you and sowed hatred and animosity amongst you.

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    محسن 2013-1-4

    To hell with rats! Libya is free and the green flag will return against the will of the impure traitors! Long live the authentic free Libya and death to agents!

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    عبد القادر 2013-1-4

    The demise of Kadhafi has caused a lot of loss to all Moroccans, Egyptians and Sudanese people. The Jamahiriya was a mercy and source of welfare for millions of workers and merchants. It is a great, great loss, by God!

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    عمار ليبيا 2013-1-3

    By God, one drop of the blood of one martyr equals Moamer and his family because he is the cause of destruction of this dear homeland. We must sacrifice the dear and cheap to make it progress. Let's work hand in hand to push the wheel of progress instead of useless words. We will sacrifice our lives to keep this homeland alive!

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    الفاتح ابدا 2013-1-1

    Moamer is totally honest and authentic. He is the leader of Arabs, there is no one like him. As for those who betrayed religion and nationalism, they are rats of disgrace. They don't honour Libya. You will regret it when it will be too late. The son of Arabs said: Days will show you what you ignored. You will get news from where you don't know. There is no a good in a good in which you see evil to reach it and an achievement you make after pleasure.

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    الوفاء 2012-12-31

    God, Moamer and Libya alone! Down with rats! "They have increased therein the corruption, So your Lord poured upon them a scourge of punishment."

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    صلاح أبن بنغازي 2012-12-31

    God is sufficient for me and He is the best disposer of affairs against those who were behind the aircraft of nuisance, spying and violation of Libyan skies! May God protect Libya! Libya my darling!

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  28. Anonymous_thumb

    الطوارق 2012-12-30

    God, Moamer and Libya alone!

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  29. Anonymous_thumb

    ليبي حر 2012-12-27

    Everything passes. We have endured and we are still enduring until God brings relief and the state be built, God willing! The most important thing is that we got rid of this animal. Viva Libya free! Al Fateh is dead!

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    ايمن 2012-12-27

    Moamer gave once the red light to Saudi Arabia to make an alliance with the demon about the concerns of Iraqi invasion and we Libyans make an alliance with the blue demon whose shape we don't know in order to topple Moamer the destructor, the meanest and most despicable creatures of God.

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    عاشق ليبيا 2012-12-27

    These drones are intended to protect you and protect Libyan skies dear to us, for which our dear youth have sacrificed their lives. They managed with the help of God to topple the buried immoral who used to buy mercenaries to kill anyone who stood in his way and the way of his sons. He didn't care in any way about the Libyan people with all its categories. An advice to my dear brothers and sisters, by God, what has that tyrant done for this kind nice people? Is there any education and health? Was there any security? Of course no, no, no!

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  32. Anonymous_thumb

    الوطني 2012-12-23

    Kadhafi was a grace and mercy despite of his sins. Had you known the future, you would have chosen the reality. If you are endowed with a grace and you are not thankful, you are deprived of it without realizing it. We cry one day, and when we get to the next, we cry longing for that same day.

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  33. Anonymous_thumb

    علي 2012-12-21

    Unfortunately, the blood of martyrs has been wasted. Rebels returned to their jobs while other people with sick-consciences returned to the military uniform and slogans of rebels. They have begun sowing chaos all over the country with the pretext that they are brigades or belonging to the army, of the shield of Libya, while in fact they are militia and armed gangs that conduct operations of kidnapping, arresting, imprisoning, beating and torturing those they choose inside prisons with high walls without any monitoring or control except God Who will punish them to the fullest extent. Kadhafi should be the best example for them if they don’t want to learn. So remember, you killing terrorist militias, that “if your power tells you to oppress people, don’t forget the power of God above you!” God will have the right prevail, God willing, God is Sufficient for me and He is the best disposer of affairs! O Lord, O Lord, security like makes us miss one day of the days of Moamer!

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    ليبي 2012-12-19

    Revolution on which we pinned hopes has become a curse for us. After eliminating the tyrant, the phenomenon of arm trade has spread under the auspices of the coward security officers and the national congress whose members are foreigners. Things are even worse with the drones over the country with the blessing of those who brought them.

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    مهندس رحومة 2012-12-18

    We have to be realistic. There are some shortcomings which should be addressed by allied countries in preparation for this international intervention according to international standards and after forming a national army, a police force and removing armed militias. Their formation has been hindered for some personal temporary limited interests.

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    مواطن ليبي 2012-12-16

    We thought it was a revolution of right against injustice. However, it came with injustice that wasn’t committed by oppressors which preceded it. We thought it was a revolution of freedom and liberation. But post-revolution Libya is now run according to foreign agendas, foreign and Arab countries intelligence, including Qatar, America, France and others. We thought it was a revolution of tolerance and justice, but retaliation and revenge have nowadays become among the basic slogans that we see. We thought that those previously exiled love their country and that if they weren’t deprived from it, they would have made of it a paradise on earth. However, they proved the total opposite. It appears that they were only interested in money and high positions. Now they are fighting for positions and stealing money from the country and the people. Moreover, they follow agendas of the countries that they immigrated to which they still show allegiance even after they have returned to their homeland. We thought that Kadhafi was the cause of the ordeal in Libya and that as soon as he would go away, problems would stop and bounties would prevail. But after Kadhafi, Libya has become the victim of thousands of Kadhafis who committed acts that weren’t even committed by Kadhafi himself. The rebels seen yesterday as heroes have become the thieves of today looting everything under the pretext that they are legitimate booties. They have terrorized the people and destabilized their security under the pretext of protecting them from the cohorts supporting the former regime. The slogan ‘no to tribalism’ was lifted all the time during the revolution, Libya is a national unity and we are all Libyans. But now, such slogans have become mere dreams. Tribalism has spread and fanaticism has increased more than under the former regime. Tribes that supported the revolution have become the important ones that have all power, authority and arms, while tribes which weren’t known for their allegiance to revolution are now looted, their lands and houses robbed, and are now deprived of the simplest citizenship rights under the pretext that they are cohorts and supporters of the regime and as if they have been stripped of their Libyan citizenship. We also thought that the war would be over as soon as Kadhafi would be toppled, however, we were wrong. There were so many wars between a tribe and another for trivial reasons, during which grad missiles and rockets ruled. This is the reality on the ground today in Libya. Only a liar or someone living on fake illusions can deny this. Libya, Libya is dying! Libya is shouting, o Allah, Allah!

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    مراقب 2012-12-15

    To Mostafa Ammar who wrote "We Libyans have been living for 42 years under the yoke of colonization." In reality, you are a useless man, stupid!

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    ام العيالة 2012-12-14

    Spying on Libya and intimidating people.

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    خالد علي 2012-12-12

    The one who tells them to go to hell is absent and America is in the sky watching.

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    مصطفى عمار 2012-12-7

    We Libyans have been living and reeling for 42 years under the colonisation of the Jewish Kadhafi who was supported and protected in various ways by Britain and America. They are the ones who have widely contributed to uprooting him and then planting him like a poisoned peg in the back of Libyan citizens. No one said a word about the hideousness of the calamity which afflicted Libyans all this period except the dissatisfied liberals who understood the story right from the start and joined activism inside the country and beyond. Some of them have died as martyrs and some contributed to liberation issues. So why do we complain about intelligence and military cooperation that aim at preserving security and safety from killers who are roaming in neighbouring countries, whether with drone planes or other ways? These are big power countries we are talking about - not like the state of the tyrant Al Jamahirya Al Odhma which fell at the first shaking - with capabilities to reach any part of the world including territories that were in the Soviet Union camp. This means that they are present in the region whether you like it or not, ok!

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    عمر 2012-12-3

    Concerns that might arise in future as what happened in Yemen in Pakistan because of the use of drones could happen in Libya. They can shell the people and say it was an accident. This is the problem. This plane must be stopped before the accident happens and things become complicated.

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    ليبيا 2012-12-2

    Praise be to God Lord of the worlds. The owners of drone planes aren't Arabs. If they were Arabs o Arabs! God knows better the situation.

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    عادل الرعيض 2012-12-1

    Hi! My dear brothers, shame on you! Libya is trying to forget the tyrant and what he did to the kind Mujahid Libyan people. However, I reply to this dissolute woman who is still supporting this demon, you are over and to hell. God willing, you will be thrown along with the traders of the word offending this kind people. You haven’t lived with us for forty years to experience and feel the suffering of this heroic people, including rape, killing and corruption in the hands of these people like this dissolute woman who calls herself Al Fateh, may God curse your conquest! Have you led the conquest of Jerusalem? O hypocrites! Please stay away from this people! They have had enough sufferings!

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    خلود الفاتح 2012-11-28

    Nothing can be said about what goes on in Libya. We just needed drone planes! O Lord no gloating! Its dignity has gone.

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    imad ferahi 2012-11-27

    We are Algerian men and we will die as men, the people can't be subdued.

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    khaled haddad 2012-11-27

    If only the owners of the drones wanted just to help Libya without trying to take advantage of it.

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    نور ياسين 2012-11-26

    No by God, they are spying planes, a violation of our homeland skies and criminal evil interventions. Aren't they killing children in Yemen and armless people as well as Pakistan and Afghanistan with these criminal planes under the pretext of eliminating terrorism. Wake up Libyans!

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