Most of the coverage about the arms deal between France and Libya has focused on the quid pro quo (officially denied) of offering arms for the release of the Bulgarian nurses and the Palestinian doctor. One aspect of the piece that’s been overlooked is the fact that offering arms to Tripoli might be at odds with the stated policy of France and the UK in Darfur. Libya has a long history of arming the “Arab” side of the region’s racial war, which has involved Darfur and Chad, in hopes of creating a united pan-Arab state in the region.
So although its author doesn’t seem terribly familiar the region’s decades-long war, I was glad to see this article in the Guardian on the possibility of a conflict arising from the arms deal between their policy in Libya and their policies in Darfur and Chad.
This is an important question, and those who wish to read about the conflict in the Sahara and Sahel would do well to check out the new and updated edition of Burr’s and Collins’s book on the subject.