From Mr Edward Dale.

Sir, I read the headline “Paris evacuates French and British from Libya fighting” (FT.com, July 30) and once again I rolled my eyes.

Speaking as an Englishman who has lived in Africa for more than 30 years, just when are western countries, and their respective governments, going to realise that replacing an existing regime by force and replacing it with a so-called “democratic” dispensation simply won’t work on a tribal base? The result will always end in a civil war, as terrorist factions fight over power, and resultant personal wealth.

UK prime minister David Cameron was fluffing his tail feathers in 2011, telling the Libyans how much “Britain had helped their cause”. Fast-forward three years and the country has collapsed into yet another tribal-based civil war. And I note that Mr Cameron’s spin-doctors have gone very quiet . . . 

Western governments do not understand tribalism and probably never will. Because of this, they must stop meddling in other countries’ affairs and focus on their own domestic problems.

Edward Dale, Durban, South Africa

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