Just as the Syria war did not end with ISIS capturing Damascus, the events in Libya equally has taken an unexpected turn as Saif al-Islam Gaddafi has resurfaced as a political candidate to the presidential election with the support of a large part of the Libyan people.
France24: Brigade leader Ajmi el Atri of Zindan says about Dr. Saif al-Islam Gaddafi, the son of ousted leader Muammar Gaddafi, whom he captured 7 years ago and later became an ally to:
According to Libyan law, Saif a-Islam is free, he is on Libyan territory. I think that two thirds of the Libyan people favour the former regime, the other third is nostalgic for the way we lived before.
“Saif al-Islam can have a leading role in reuniting the Libyan people, he alone is capable of reuniting the supporters of the former regime and those who were supporters of the revolution. Saif al-Islam can unite the Libyan people.” Watch the documentary below.
These words come from Gaddafi’s captors, who for years kept Dr. Saif al-Islam in a Zindan prison, refusing to extradite him to Tripoli, where the EU supported government had indicted him. The aim was to send Gaddafi to the ICC where we could expect a ten year trial broadcast to the whole world, much like Milosevic – as a final display of Western dominion in Libya? This never happened.
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Watch this France24 documentary on Libya seven years on, how Western Libya is fighting the Islamists who took power in Tripoli after the NATO backed military coup in Libya 2011.
In my Foreign Policy Journal article February 17th, 2017 ” Could Muammar Gaddafi’s son Saif al-Islam Solve the Libya Crisis?” I addressed the same issues in domestic Libyan politics as the France24 documentary, as Dr. Saif al-Islam Gaddafi, then released from prison, has the support of the people to reenter politics and unite the Libyan people under the National Reconciliation Movement.
This movement opposes, as Muammar Gaddafi also did, the Al Qaida and its affiliated groups, supported by the West. (Photo of Ajmi el Atri, the brigade leader who captured Saif al-Islam Gaddafi, now his ally. France24)
France24 speaks to the commanders who imprisoned Saif al-Islam. They explain how they now are protecting him in the hope that Gaddafi might unite the Libyan tribes under his leadership and forge peace in the war torn country.
Ajmi el Atri, brigade leader Abu Baqr al Saddiq explains how he captured Dr. Saif al-Islam Gaddafi years ago and later allied himself to the Gaddafi heir:
“If there is a new war tomorrow, as the legitimate army under the authority of the government, we will fight against the Islamists armed groups operating outside the law and helped by The Muslim Brotherhood.”
Youth spokesperson in Zindan, Ibrahim al Madani says:
“Do you want the truth? Life under the former regime was better than it is today. When we were fighting the revolution in 2011 we wanted to change things, to make things better for our country…My father said that we were protesting Gaddafi not because we hated him, but because we were fighting the corruption of his regime. Now the revolution must continue because the corruption that we see today is worse than what we experienced under the former regime. “
The documentary stated that most of the Zindan military leaders came together under the authority of Marshall Khalifa Haftar to fight against the Islamist groups.
Haftar’s Libyan National Army is seen together with former officers from the former Gaddafi regime. That responsability is Marshall Haftar and the Libyan National Army. This is done despite UN arms sanctions still in effect.
Please note that in 2019, much has evolved since the documentary was made, and the situation is different.
These leaders state in the documentary that the Western descision to enter into the Libyan conflict in 2011 was a major mistake. “The revolution was a trap sold us by foreigners,” one states. Soldiers still wear the Gaddafi insignia with a green shield with a golden eagle, the mark of the Yamahiriyya movement that is now resurging in Libya on a national level.
The soldiers still greeting each other with the Gaddafi hand salute.
Aliances are now being built in preparation for the new role of Dr. Saif al-Islam Gaddafi, who was not killed in 2011, but has won new allies all over Libya.