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Gaddafi's son dreams of leading Libya: "It's time to go back to the past" - Walla! news

2021-08-01T20:23:42.021Z

After years of disappearance, Saif al-Islam gave a rare interview to the New York Times from a mansion in the west of the state. He said that in the decade since his father was executed, citizens have received only "unhappiness." "We need to come back slowly, like Striptease," said Gaddafi, who is wanted in The Hague and is facing the death penalty in Tripoli.



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Gaddafi's son dreams of leading Libya: "It's time to go back to the past"

After years of disappearance, Saif al-Islam gave a rare interview to the New York Times from a mansion in the west of the state.

He said that in the decade since his father was executed, citizens have received only "unhappiness."

"We need to come back slowly, like Striptease," said Gaddafi, who is wanted in The Hague and is facing the death penalty in Tripoli.

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  • Libya

  • Swordsman to Islam Gaddafi

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Sunday, 01 August 2021, 14:43

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Three of his brothers were executed.

Saif al-Islam (Photo: Reuters)

Saif al-Islam Gaddafi, the son of former Libyan dictator Muammar Gaddafi, wants to "restore Libya's lost unity" after a decade of chaos, while not denying his candidacy for the presidency his father led for four decades.



Gaddafi, 49, who is wanted by the International Criminal Court in The Hague for war crimes, is considered his father's designated heir before the events of the "Arab Spring." After many years in the underground, he gave the New York Times a rare interview from a luxurious two-story villa inside an enclosed compound in the West African city of Zintan.



He said politicians in the decade since his father's execution had brought the Libyans nothing "but misery." "It's time to go back to the past. The country is on its knees. There is no money, no security. There is no life here."



Three of Gaddafi's seven sons were killed during the civil war, but the fate of Saif al-Islam, whose name in Arabic means "sword of Islam", was not known until now.



He was captured by a local militia in November 2011, days after his father was executed, and four years later a court in Tripoli sentenced him to death for his absence for crimes committed during the uprising.

The last time he appeared before the public was in June 2014, on a video broadcast from Zinatan during a hearing at his trial in Tripoli.



Gaddafi Jr. said in an interview with the New York Times that he is now a free man planning a political comeback, and that his former captors "are now my friends."

He told the newspaper that the militias eventually realized he could be a powerful ally.

He ruled Libya for four decades.

Muammar Gaddafi (Photo: AP)

In recent years, Libya has been divided between two rival governments, backed by foreign forces and countless militias. In October, after Turkish-backed government forces in Tripoli repulsed the forces of General Khalifa Hatter in the east, the two camps agreed on a ceasefire mediated by the international community. Since then, the security situation has been gradually improving. A temporary government was agreed in March, and general elections are scheduled for December 24.



Any possible return of Saif al-Islam to Libyan politics will face many obstacles, including his conviction by the court in Tripoli and international arrest warrants against him. However, according to the New York Times, this does not deter Gaddafi, who was educated in the UK.



He said that "he is convinced that these legal issues can be negotiated if the majority of the Libyan people elect him as leader." He said, "I've been away from the Libyan people for a decade. You have to come back slowly, slowly. Like Striptease. You have to play a little bit with their head."



When asked if he felt weird looking for shelter in civilian homes while on the run in 2011, he was as enigmatic as the ideas his father wrote in his "Green Book."



"We are like fish, and the Libyan people are like a sea for us," Saif al-Islam replied.

"Without them, we die. There we get support. We hide here. We fight here. We get support from there. The Libyan people are our ocean."

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Source: walla

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