On Saturday evening Saif al-Islam Qaddafi, son of deposed Libyan dictator Muammar Qaddafi, was released from the custody of the Abu Bakr al-Siddiq Battalion in Zintan (a western Libyan town).
Al-Islam Qaddafi is wanted by the International Criminal Court (ICC) along with his deceased father, the former dictator, accused of war crimes including the killing and torturing of civilians and rebels that rose up against the regime in 2011. His release comes at a time when Libya has been fractured by dozens of militia groups based around tribal politics, two opposing governments with differing international backers, and even an opportunist General that came back to Libya from Virginia and has raised a significant rebel Army. He is wanted for these crimes in connection with his father’s regime, but he was also was educated in the London, UK. There is a slim possibility that if he can downplay his involvement, the Libyan people and international community may seek to include him in unification efforts in the fractured North African country. He may have been too entrenched in the atrocities that the Qaddafi regime committed against their own people for either the international community, or more importantly the Libyan people, to forget.
Libya in pieces
Since Muammar Qaddafi was taken out of power in 2011 there have been dozens of groups competing for power in the vacuum left behind after decades of harsh rule. In Tripoli, the former capital, there is an internationally recognized government with a parliament and somewhat of a government structure. In the east, the second largest city of Benghazi has established its own government with a shadow parliament. Across the rest of populated Libya, it’s either tribal militias in power or its strongmen like General Khalia Haftar who have held areas with rebel armies.
Categories: Middle East