April 22, 2011 - -MOSCOW, April 21 (Itar-Tass) -- The situation in Libya is stalled. The no fly zone operation has failed, and an operation on the ground, if it begins, will trigger a large African war, Russian presidential representative for African affairs, chairman of the Federation Council’s international affairs committee, Mikhail Margelov, said on Thursday.
“That this is a stalemate situation is seen in the fact that without a ground operation attempts to oust Gaddafi have failed, and resolution 1973 of the UN Security Council the coalition has already interpreted very loosely does not permit interference by infantry or paratroops,” Margelov told Itar-Tass. “The United States, France and Britain think that bombs alone are not enough to fulfill the part of the resolution that concerns the protection of civilian population. In their opinion, as long as there is Gaddafi, there will be a risk to the lives of civilians.”
However, if a ground operation begins, then, according to Margelov, "a war of this scale will not be kept within Libya."
"The area of ··the Sahel is already unstable, and the countries of that zone – Mali and Niger – are getting arms from the rebels in the theater of military operations in Libya for factions of al-Qaeda,” said the special envoy. This, he warns, "poses a threat to Algeria and Morocco, where the opposition continues to protest and demonstrate. "
In addition, the complexity of the situation in Libya, according to Margelov, stems from the fact that "it is still not clear with whom one can negotiate a political settlement, because the rebels are a very ill-matched: there are regional tribes, Libyan Berbers, some defectors from the ruling regime and al-Qaeda militants.”
"At the same time,” Margelov added, "the insurgents and the coalition do not want any talks with Gaddafi. "
Speaking of the impasse, Margelov remarked once again that "after the statement by the coalition command about the lack of missiles it became clear that the no fly zone operation failed. Gaddafi has been successfully advancing and his troops are well armed."
However, some politicians have been claiming that "the rebels are being pushed back with Russian weapons." Margelov firmly dismissed these rumors "an exaggeration", because one can talk about only Soviet weapons of the 1980s.
"Russia,” he recalled, “in 1992 joined the UN Security Council sanctions prohibiting the supply of weapons to Libya. In addition, in the 1980s Qaddafi, according to the legislator, "scooped handfuls of weapons not only in the Warsaw Pact countries, but also in Europe." So the supporters of Gaddafi "are fighting with weapons of mixed origin," concluded Margelov.