Cairo, Asharq Al-Awsat—Ahmed Gaddaf Al-Dam, cousin and former confidant of the late Libyan dictator Muammar Gaddafi, has warned that the West is “beating the drums of war” and preparing for another military intervention in the North African state.
The former Libyan special envoy to Cairo, who sought refuge in the Egyptian capital after fleeing Libya in 2011, spoke to Asharq Al-Awsat just days before Libyan tribes were set to congregate in Cairo for reconciliation talks. “The drums of war are now being beaten by NATO states for military intervention in Libya once more. We are seeing statements being issued and plans being made for intervention under various pretexts, including to protect [NATO] interests or to address the issue of illegal immigration and other flimsy excuses,” Gaddaf Al-Dam said.
“Before UN resolutions can be issued, once more, against Libya and its people who have suffered a lot as a result of such interventions, we must take the reins of our own fate and meet in order to make decisions and demonstrate to the world that we are capable of saving our own country from what is happening.”
The meeting in Cairo will see senior Libyan tribal figures discuss solutions to the deteriorating political and security situation in the country.
Libya is divided between two rival governments, with the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) using the chaos on the ground to strengthen its position in the country. On Thursday, ISIS reportedly took control of the port city of Sirte, hometown of Muammar Gaddafi.
Gaddaf Al-Dam, who served as Gaddafi’s personal envoy, described the meeting of Libyan tribes as a “unique opportunity to overcome divisions and save Libya.” He warned that Libyans cannot rely on external help to solve the country’s problems but must take action themselves to find a solution to the crisis.
He complained that Libya’s tribes have largely been ignored in the ongoing UN-sponsored mediation, stressing that there can be no viable solution that does not include Libya’s powerful tribal forces.
“If the UN were serious about resolving the problems in Libya then they would know that this cannot happen unless the tribes are part of the talks and political negotiations that are taking place. If they are serious, then we are ready and willing to hold dialogue with our Libyan brothers,” he said.