The Return of Ghadafi

Reports that Colonel Ghadafi’s son, Saif al-Islam is alive and re-entering the political arena in Libya have added interest to the planned elections later this year.

The tenth anniversary of the death of his father in Sirte on 20th October is one of several commemorations leading up to the 70th anniversary of independence and the December elections.

Saif is a controversial figure in Libya. Although he was responsible for the rapprochement with the West after his father agreed to give up his nuclear weapons programme, he will always be associated with the government repression after his “rivers of blood” speech at the beginning of the 2011 revolution.

He will certainly have some support among those who wish Libya to be a strong country again, but he will only be considered a viable candidate if he unites with Field Marshal Haftar, who is currently backed by the Russian security company Wagner. If that happens, the West will lose one of the most important countries in Africa that is key to solving the migration crisis.

There is much more on Saif’s role in Libya and the current crisis in my forthcoming book, Liberating Libya which is launched just before the anniversary of Colonel Gadhafi’s death.

Libyan elders outside the prison in Zintan where Saif was held in November 2011

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