The Last Amazon Warrior Women Book 1 – Merchants of Death – Chapter 2 militia groups
The endless war fuelled by militia groups.
Continued from Chapter 1
The high-powered UN delegation was made up of three high-level diplomats from three different countries, Spain, Italy and Nigeria. They jetted in from the capitals of their respective countries, assembling in Tunis, the capital city of Tunisia in North Africa, and from there, were flown by Tunisian military helicopters into Tripoli, the embattled capital of war-torn Libya just across the border.
The delegates were the mediators in the new peace negotiations that had been brokered by the United Nations to bring a resolution to the conflict between the rival factions seeking control of the territory and oil of Libya.
This was the fourth time the United Nation was wading into the decade-long conflict in Libya. The last three attempts had been colossal failures from which a lot of lessons had been learned and so hopes were high in the international community that the new negotiations would be a success, particularly given the caliber and experience of the mediators involved.
A lot of countries in both Africa and Europe had become very worried about the endless war in Libya. It was affecting everyone badly now. Since the overthrow and murder of Muammar Gaddafi, the last Libyan president, in what was the first civil war, the country had never been the same again. It had first degenerated into chaos and then outright war, a second civil war that had already lasted nearly a decade.
The central government had split in two and divided the entire country with it. The democratically elected House of Representative government, backed by the Libyan National Army, now ruled east Libya while the General National Congress government, backed by the major militia groups that had fought against President Muammar Gaddafi, controlled west Libya and the nation’s capital, Tripoli. There were also a host of other militia groups, both foreign and local, who switched loyalties ever so often between the two major factions. Technically, everybody was fighting everybody and themselves.
The chaotic fighting was widespread and all manner of atrocities against humanity were being committed on a daily basis. The flood of refugees into the surrounding African and Arabs countries, and even across the Mediterranean Sea into Europe was endless, but that wasn’t even the real problem. The real problem was the weapons.
Muammar Gaddafi was a military dictator who ruled Libya in a reign of terror that lasted nearly fifty years. With Libya’s oil billions to spend, he subdued and oppressed the people of the country with a well-equipped army, police, mercenaries, assassins and various militia groups. He also supported many international terrorist groups, such as Al-Qaeda, allowing them to make their permanent bases in Libya. Due to this heavy investment and reliance on the military and militia groups, Gaddafi built up a huge stockpile of weapons, storing them away in large armories in different parts of the country. With Gaddafi’s overthrow and eventual murder came chaos and conflicts, and several of those armories fell into the hands of rebel forces who, not only armed themselves but also sold off a lot of the weapons cheaply on the black market where terrorists, militia groups and common criminals from other lands bought them. Consequently, many of the surrounding Arab, African and European countries witnessed an upsurge of insecurity within their borders. They saw the transformation of common miscreants into dangerous militants and thugs armed with sophisticated weapons. Always, the origin of those weapons was Libya.
One of the most affected nations in Africa was Nigerian who was battling three different terrorist groups and several militant groups within its borders. Sudan, Mali, Niger, Chad, Ghana and Cameroon were all African countries with exactly the same problem; they were in a state of outright war with terrorists and armed militant groups within their own borders. In the Middle East, Iraq, Iran, Turkey and, particularly, Syria were struggling with the war against the deadly Islamic State terrorist sect even with the help of two superpowers, Russia and the United States. Across the Mediterranean Sea in Europe, Italy found itself battling an incredibly well-armed Mafia headed up by some of the most dangerous men in the world of organized crime. Spain’s problem was with the deadly drug lords of South America who were trying to get their deadly merchandise into Europe through Spanish ports, they were now armed with sophisticated military grade weapons.
These concerned counties, acting under the United Nations, had taken the risk of arranging for the latest peace negotiations to take place right inside Libya so the leaders of all parties involved could attend and sort out their differences at one table. They had also broken all security rules to send in three of the most capable diplomats among them as mediators.
The negotiations started peacefully enough but lasted for just two of the scheduled ten days before breaking down completely. On the night of the third day, one of the major militia groups, The Libyan Dawn, suddenly switched loyalty from the GNC government to the HOR government and attacked Tripoli, shelling the eastern sector of the city non-stop for five hours during the night and then sent in its fighters to occupy it.
Long before dawn on the fourth day, there was full-scale fighting in most parts of the city and the temporary ceasefire was history. None of the three members of the UN peace mission needed to be told then that the peace negotiations were over and it was every man for himself from there on. Their security details took over from that point.
Lieutenant Vincent Ambrose was the head of the Nigerian Special Forces team responsible for the security of the Nigerian delegate and he never slept that night.
The shelling had started up at precisely 9 p.m., local time and continued till just after 2 a.m., in the small hours of the morning by which time the entire eastern part of the beautiful old city of Tripoli was on fire. And then the gunfighting began.
At first, nothing of the battle came close to the presidential hotel where the UN delegates stayed. The hotel was located near the presidential palace in midtown Tripoli, the seat of the GNC government and their forces, a coalition of several major militia groups. They were in firm control of that entire area and the city itself or had been until the shelling began.
By 3 a.m., the sound of the fighting was slowly creeping closer to the hotel from across the city and, watching from a balcony of the hotel overlooking the eastern part of the city, it was clear to Vincent that the GNC government forces had been caught completely off guard and were losing control of the city. He didn’t wait for morning and the promised escorts out to the airfield.
By 3.30 am, Vincent had the diplomat and his aides in three armored cars with his team, racing through the dark empty streets of Tripoli on their way to the airfield out in the desert to the northwest of the city.
Twenty minutes out, racing down a dark twisting road, they suddenly ran into a group of rebel fighters who promptly engaged them in a fierce gun battle supported by rocket launchers. After more than thirty minutes of fighting and one casualty, they finally broke free and continued on their way, but stuck strictly to quiet back streets from there on.
They encountered only minor hostile forces before reaching the outskirts of the city. By dawn, they were at the heavily guarded military airfield in the desert outside Tripoli and the three Tunisian military helicopters were waiting. They boarded their own helicopter and were airlifted away swiftly.
The other two helicopters stayed on the ground, waiting for the arrival of the other two delegates and their teams. Only one delegate and his team ever showed up. The Libyan military convoy escorting the Italians to the airfield later that morning was attacked within the city limits and the Italian delegate was killed after the armored car carrying him and two aides was blown up during the fighting.
Continued … Chapter 3
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