(Author: Libyan Gazette Editorial Staff)
Safia Gaddafi pictured with her husband Muammar Gaddafi
Safia Gaddafi, the widow of former Libyan dictator Muammar Gaddafi has been granted permission to return to Libya along with some of her grandchildren.
The telegraph reported that the decision to allow Safia to return to her hometown of Bayda was rubber-stamped by council officials in Bayda two weeks ago.
This move can be interpreted as an attempt by Libyan authorities to establish national reconciliation and pacify pro-Gaddafi supporters within the country ahead of a large-scale battle to retake ISIS-controlled Sirte, which is Gaddafi’s hometown.
Safiya, who married Gaddafi in 1970 and had six children with the former Libyan leader, fled to Algeria with her family in August 2011 where she was given sanctuary following the Libyan revolution.
However, Safia and her family were forced to leave Algeria for Oman after her daughter Aisha ignored requests by Algerian authorities to not publicly criticize the Libyan revolution.
Safia, who kept a relatively low political profile during Gaddafi’s reign and only made appearances with him in meetings with world leaders, went on radio to support her husband’s violent suppression of the uprising against him in 2011.
While Safia has never been charged with any crimes related to her husband’s regime, her return to Libya is seen as controversial due to the fact that many Libyans still hold resentment towards all members of the former ruling family’s oppressive four decade rule.