The beginning of a new year marks new hope in Libya, as the candidature of Saif al-Islam Gaddafi is now recognized by the Russians, African states and a number of international actors. His candidature is viewed as a unifying force of reconciliation in war torn Libya that should be a part of the presidential election.
Saif al-Islam Gaddafi, now renamed “Mandela Libya” by many in the Middle East, should play a role in his country’s political life, said the Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Mikhail Bogdanov recently. He stressed that no candidates should be excluded.
At the Herland Report we have long argued the case that you cannot forge a lasting peace in Libya without including the Libyan people’s candidates.
In February 2017, we suggested in a Foreign Policy Journal article that was republished all over the world, that Saif al-Islam Gaddafi could be the man to reunite Libya for a peaceful future. His candidature, and not only political and military figures who are funded by Western nations, should be considered.
Former diplomat Ashtoy al-Jedi also stressed that the vision of Dr. Saif al-Islam Muammar Gaddafi for national reconciliation can be the solution in Libya, describing its values and purpose as the conclusion of a vision of a veteran politician who has full awareness of the roots of the Libyan political crisis, old and new. Al-Jeddi said that national reconciliation is the cornerstone of any agreement in Libya, and that Saif al-Islam is the key to it. After all, the fate of Libya and who is to rule the country should be decided on Libyan soil, by the Libyans.
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In recent years, the West has notoriously demonstrated its complete disability to create peace in Libya, post the 2011 NATO invasion. The stated aim was to bring democracy, yet total chaos has been the result.
If not, it will remain but a continuation of the Western dominance initiated in the NATO 2011 war which culminated in the prolonging civil war that has left the country ravaged and war lord run by various, notorious militia groups.
Since 2012, efforts have been put through in the Libyan tribal system on a national level to reunify Libya under the leadership of Muammar Gaddafi’s son, Saif al-Islam. With the recent November development in the Palermo Conference, Italy, it became clear that talks of peace need to include the Gaddafis.
Saif al-Islam Gaddafi’s candidature cannot easily be omitted from Italy’s and the US’ current effort to solve the Libyan riddle, as he remains the preferred leader among many Libyans. Recent figures claim as much as 91% support for Gaddafi, the numbers remain to be confirmed. Another figure suggests, according to France24 two-thirds of the population support, as many look back at the Gaddafi era with reminisce.
As we stated in the February 2017 article, it was Saif al-Islam – now renamed Mandela Libya – who freed the Bulgarian nurses in Benghazi, led the large scale Benghazi housing projects, created the Charity Gaddafi Association which helped poor countries in Africa, as well as worked diligently to democratize Libya.
It was he that called for a free press and hoped to issue a Constitution of the state. It was also Saif al-Islam who led the Reconciliation Project in 2006 between the government and the opposition, and the peaceful release of political prisoners, like Abdelhakim Belhadj and Khaled Sharef, most of whom joined the rebels and later controlled Tripoli.
Former diplomat, Ashtoy al-Jedi added that Saif al-Islam has a vision of national reconciliation that will emphasize the comprehensive Libyan consensus, stressing that it is the basis of the solution in Libya.
Al-Jeddi also pointed out that Saif al-Islams permanent solution should be considered, not only to end the internal struggle and restore the state, but also in the resuming of the national reconciliation process of construction and development, which was stopped because of what happened to Libya in 2011.
As for the validity of the references to the political and security solution in Libya over the past seven years, Al-Jaddi explained that all the references to the political, security, local, regional and international solutions have been launched from a vacuum, stressing that starting from the vacuum will only lead us to a vacuum and not a solution.