The struggle for power from the ruins of Libya is likely to get even uglier, and what is becoming decidedly more noticeable is the role of other interfering states who are betting on one side or another in the game for the prize that is Libya.
The latest international intrigue, orchestrated by what we might call the “new colonialist alliance,” surrounds the future of Colonel Muammar Gaddafi’s most prominent son, Saif al-Islam Gaddafi.
The United States, UK, the UN are egging on the United Arab Emirates and their allies including France and Jordan to finish the job in Libya by cajoling Libyan National Army commander, Gen. Khalifa Haftar, to totally abandon any thought of allowing Saif a role in the future of Libya. This new colonial order is seemingly becoming afraid of his growing popularity.
The US and its allies in the West and amongst the Arabs are engineering the so-called “Abu Dhabi Process” to bring Libya’s civil war to a close with a series of meetings for Gen. Haftar with world leaders. Haftar’s meetings include the head of the Presidential Council, UN appointed Prime Minister Serraj; King Abdullah of Jordan; and the head of AFRICOM. Lastly and importantly, Haftar will meet with the new French President this week, a meeting worked out during Trump’s visit to Paris.
To the West, Saif al-Islam is the poster child of the old order. The US, UK, and the UN want Saif al-Islam on trial at the International Criminal Court (ICC) in The Hague also to isolate and silence him. Quite simply he knows too much about the West’s past duplicity. Failing that, there is a good chance he will be assassinated.
Additionally, Saif al-Islam is being held responsible for his father’s actions, from Lockerbie, which ironically he was not involved in, to now being part of the alleged plot with Qatar to kill the then Saudi King Abdullah.
So thoroughly has the West manipulated the process in Libya that they have recently been able to convince Gen. Haftar to give up on any alliance with Saif al-Islam through a dramatic push by the United Arab Emirates in Zintan. Zintan, of course, is where Saif al-Islam was held in prison until quite recently.
The West does not like Haftar mainly due to his closeness to Russia, but they are doing their best to get him to go along with this plan. Haftar is popular with the Libyan people, however, as is Saif.
According to irrefutable and reliable ground sources, a tribal meeting occurred in Zintan last Friday where an “agreement was signed” calling for the arrest of al-Siddiq militia leader Ajmi al-Atiri (who had been responsible for Saif Gaddafi since he arrested him in the desert) and to immediately search and re-arrest Saif al-Islam.
The fact is the UAE and the US do not like the signs of a country-wide movement, with tribal support, to make Saif al-Islam a Mandela style reconciliation figure.
The ground-game is important, but for immediate purposes the West just scored a major coup by setting the stage for Libya to spit-out Saif al-Islam right into the open jail cell in the ICC despite the lack of evidence against him. The ICC is merely a tool of the American dominated UN and Gaddafi’s son, the victim.
Will the US and its allies succeed? And what happens if they do?