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Failure to plan for post-Gaddafi Libya a biggest mistake, says Obama

US President Barack Obama AFP / MANDEL NGAN

US President Barack Obama AFP / MANDEL NGAN

United States (U.S.) President Barack Obama has said that the biggest mistake of his Presidency was lack of planning for the aftermath of the fall of the late Libyan leader, Muammar Gaddafi, with the country spiralling into chaos and grappling with violent extremists.

Reflecting on his legacy in a Fox News interview aired yesterday, Obama said his “worst mistake” was “probably failing to plan for the day after what I think was the right thing to do in intervening in Libya.”

Last month, Obama made a searing critique of British Prime Minister David Cameron and former French leader Nicolas Sarkozy, for their roles in the bombing campaign they led in Libya.

In an interview with The Atlantic magazine, the U.S. President said Cameron became “distracted” and Sarkozy wanted to promote his country during the 2011 NATO-led military intervention.

Since the downfall of Gaddafi, who was killed in a popular uprising, Libya descended into near-anarchy, ruled by rival militias vying for power while the Islamic State group has gained influence in the country.

The head of a United Nations (UN)-backed unity government arrived earlier this month in the Libyan capital, Tripoli, to begin garnering support for his government.



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