Libya: Libya’s ruling national congress ordered the temporary closure of its borders with four of its neighbors on 16 December and declared its desert south a closed military zone.
The national assembly ordered that land borders with Chad, Niger, Sudan and Algeria be temporarily closed pending new regulations. It also said the provinces of Ghadames, Ghat, Obari, al-Shati, Sabha, Murzuq and Kufra are considered closed military zones.
Comment: The rise of southern tribal opposition to the new government and increased jihadist tendencies are responsible for the new order. The government has no capabilities to enforce its mandate in the south, making this order a statement that the government recognizes it has a problem.
Modern Libya is an artificial creation of the Italians. It appears to be devolving into its ancient regions of Tripolitania, Cyrenaica and Fezzan – in the south.
Phi Beta Iota: The imposition of artificial boundaries, and the elevation of minorities to serve as colonial surrogates, is now coming apart in a second phase that will be more persistent and more effective than the National Wars of Liberation were in the 1960’s and 1970’s. If the United Nations had an intelligence directorate, which it does not, or if NATO wanted to be clever with what little it does have, each would be thinking about the implications for hybrid governance rooted in shared information and sense-making, instead of the Treaty of Westphalia and trying to rescue failed states that include the Western states. Now imagine the tribes of the world (and over 5,000 secessionist movements among them) organized by cell phone and virtual call centers — The Virgin Truth — committed to the non-violent reassertion of their sacred liberties in the context of restoring their tribal security and prosperity.
Philip Allott, The Health of Nations: Society and Law beyond the State (Cambridge University Press, 2002)
Noam Chomsky, Failed States: The Abuse of Power and the Assault on Democracy (Holt Paperbacks, 2007)
Aihwa Ong and Stephen Collier (eds.), Global Assemblages: Technology, Politics, and Ethics as Anthropological Problems (Wiley-Blackwell, 2004)