According to the Gaddafi family lawyer, it has been confirmed that Saif Al-Islam Gaddafi, the son of Muammar Gaddafi, is planning a political comeback in Libya. Saif Gaddafi was released from detention in July earlier this year and is reported to be moving around Libya. It is alleged that he is establishing contact with various tribes in attempts to gain their support, as reported by the Middle East Monitor.
Gaddafi’s lawyer expressed that he is in excellent health and went on to state that the Libyan people are awaiting his return while speaking in Tunis. The lawyer also added that they aim to create an international organization in order to prosecute senior Qatari figures, like former Emir Hamad Bin Khalifa Al-Thani, at the International Criminal Court for the roles they played in Libya; although it is unclear if this is plausible due to the fact that both Libya and Qatar have not ratified the ICC agreement.
To some, Gaddafi’s ambitions may appear to be far reaching since Libya’s court has sentenced him to death over war crimes including killings of protesters during the 2011 revolution and the International Criminal Court has issued an arrest warrant for his role in the violations that occurred during the crackdowns on the 2011 protests. It is unclear whether the sentence against him will bar him from running.
The question of reconciliation is at the forefront of restructuring efforts in Libya. Such concerns also extend to former senior officials in the Gaddafi regime. According to Ahmed Gaddaf Al-Dam; Muammar Gaddafi’s cousin, aide, and former foreign envoy; Libyans have managed to reconcile with the former regime following the “six years of turbulence”. Gaddaf Al-Dam added that the former senior officials of the regime who are now imprisoned are the country’s only experienced administrators; highlighting an administrative vacuum.
However, Gaddafi’s announcement is not welcomed by many Libyans who view Gaddafi’s return to power as being counter-revolutionary. Although Gaddafi and senior officials from the former regime claim administrative experience, they have never offered Libya democratic rule, transparent institutions, nor the rule of law that respected the rights and freedoms of Libyans. For almost 42 years Libyans have lived under the authoritative rule of a dictator, Muammar Gaddafi, who controlled the country’s power and wealth.
While experienced political personnel act as vital figures in the transitionary period; Libyans need a fresh start and a new face. Individuals alike Saif Al-Islam and Khalifa Haftar who have committed crimes against the Libyan people may only further exacerbate the Libyan crisis.