Colonel Gaddafi’s son Saif al-Islam returns to Libyan politics

Muammar Gaddafi’s son, Saif al-Islam.

Colonel Muammar Gaddafi’s son, Saif al-Islam Gaddafi, has announced his return to Libyan politics.

Since his release from rebel captivity six months ago, Saif al-Islam has confirmed that he will be resuming political activities, his lawyer Khalid al Zaidi has told Sputnik Arabic.

Speaking in the Tunisian capital Tunis, Mr al-Zaidi told reporters that Gaddafi’s son was returning to Libya’s fractious political scene, adding he was in good health.

Mr al-Zaidi told Sputnik Arabic: “The current situation in Libya, the absence of any dialogue and the misunderstanding of the real states of affairs require Saif al-Islam Gaddafi to return to politics and try to find a political settlement between the conflicting parties in the country.

“There have been frequent reports that Saif al-Islam had left Libya, but this is not true. He maintains contacts with the country’s leaders, representatives of different tribes, trying to find a political solution to the ongoing crisis and reconcile the opposing parties”, the attorney outlined.”

According to Mr al-Zaidi, the efforts of the deceased colonel’s son “favourably differ from the ongoing [peace] talks [between the internationally recognized government in Tripoli and the one based in Tobruk] in Tunisia, where the negotiators are making deals with each other and defending their own interests instead of protecting ordinary Libyans and seeking stability in the country.”

“The ongoing negotiations”, he continued, “are being used to further the plans of foreign countries, which only benefit from the prolonged Libyan crisis. Libyans expect nothing from these talks, which have not yielded any results in seven years.”

Mr al-Zaidi added: “They lead only to suffering, war, destruction and famine”, the attorney underscored, while “Saif al-Islam remains the only hope for the majority of the country’s residents.”

In the lawyer’s opinion, 45-year-old Saif al-Islam enjoys the support of the common people and certain armed groups rather than that of dubious political forces.

In November 2013, the UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention officially concluded that Gaddafi’s detention was “arbitrary”.

In June 2017, after five and a half years in captivity, Saif al-Islam was finally released under an amnesty law.

Before the revolution, Saif al-Islam, a graduate of the London School of Economics, was seen by many as a potential successor to his father.

Despite holding no official government position, he was referred to as the “de-facto” Prime Minister responsible for public relations and diplomacy.

Mutassim Gaddafi, the dictator’s fourth son, was killed by rebels on the same day as his father.

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