Wednesday, March 30, 2011

"Libya Conflict Could Create Crisis to the South, Analysts Say"



RAS JDIR, TUNISIA - MARCH 08: A man who recently crossed into Tunisia from Libya waits for friends at a United Nations displacement camp on March 08, 2011 in Ras Jdir, Tunisia. As fighting continues in and around the Libyan capital of Tripoli, tens of thousands of guest workers from Egypt, Tunisia, Bangladesh and other countries have fled to the border of Tunisia to escape the violence. The situation has turned into a humanitarian emergency as fledgling Tunisia is overwhelmed with the workers. Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi has vowed to fight to the end. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

I'm quoted in Drew Hinshaw's Voice of America piece, "Libya Conflict Could Create Crisis to the South, Analysts Say."

Here are the quotes:
Former U.S. ambassador to Ethiopia David Shinn, who says the statistics on mercenaries are overestimated, adds that he is far more concerned about what Africans living and working in Libya will do if they return home.

As many as 20 percent of Libya's five million people are sub-Saharan Africans who traveled overland to find work in this oil-exporting nation.

"Some of them have already left, most I suspect are still there because they can't get out, they're just stuck somewhere. To the extent that they return, they add to the unemployment rolls of whatever country they're coming from," said Shinn.

The economies of those countries, he add may be further damaged by yet a third fallout from the Libyan war.

Gadhafi and his government control billions of dollars of investments across Africa, from hotels, gas stations, a chicken farm in Togo, a telecommunications company in Niger, and several mining companies. Shinn says the finances of these businesses will clearly be in jeopardy if Mr. Gadhafi is driven from power or his regime is badly damaged.

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