Cairo, Asharq Al-Awsat- Dr Ibrahim Quwaydir, a Libyan official who previously held the post of secretary general of the Arab Labor Organization, has revealed that approximately 148 of the late Muammar Gaddafi’s senior loyalists are in Egypt and can engage in clandestine political action against the Libyan revolution. This is particularly possible, he said, because, according to available information, it was highly likely that they were in possession of $10 billion of Libyan funds. Quwaydir said that before his death, the late Col Muammar Gaddafi earmarked $28 million to a group of terrorists to carry out assassinations in Libya and abroad under the motto of “revenge after the fall of the regime.”
Quwaydir called on the Libyan people to adopt the slogan “the people’s legitimacy” instead of the “revolution’s legitimacy,” noting that the revolution’s legitimacy slogan was a ploy through which Gaddafi ruled Libya for 42 years. We do not want to hear that slogan again. He played down the danger of Islamists and tribalism in the political process.
In reply to a question by Asharq Al-Awsat before leaving Cairo for Libya this week, on whether there was still fear of Gaddafi’s loyalists carrying out attacks against the revolution, Dr Quwaydir said: “Fear of Gaddafi’s loyalists still stands.” He added that 148 senior loyalists of Gaddafi live in Egypt. They fled Libya when they sensed that the fall of the Libyan regime was imminent. He added: “Those loyalists may cause disturbances in Libya in view of Egypt’s proximity to Libya. So we must watch them.” He called for further security coordination between Libya and Egypt and for stopping any secret political activity against the Libyan revolution.
Quwaydir said that the wealth of Gaddafi’s senior loyalists in Egypt was estimated at approximately $10 billion, noting that these funds belonged to the Libyan people. He proposed establishing a joint defense committee of Libyans and Egyptians to file suits against Gaddafi’s loyalists in Libya and Egypt to restore the Libyan people’s funds.
Asked if Gaddafi’s loyalists in Libya or abroad could cause disturbances to the Libyan revolution or the new government, Dr Quwaydir said: “We do not rule out the possibility of those loyalists causing disturbances in Libya. We have to recall in this regard that Gaddafi held a meeting at Al-Aziziyah stronghold in Tripoli about six months ago. International terrorists affiliated with what was known in Gaddafi’s era as the “International Gathering” attended that meeting in which Gaddafi put forward a plan under the name of “revenge after the fall of the regime.” He earmarked $28 million to implement that plan, which envisioned carrying out bombings in Libyan cities as well as in the Arab and European cities that supported the 17 February uprising.
Quwaydir adds that establishing security in Libya is “very important at this time, and some may think that achieving security is difficult, particularly protecting the border because Libya is a very large country.” He added that the agreement with Libya’s friends at the conference recently held in Qatar was sound. He said: “It is inevitable to reinforce the new security apparatus in Libya and supply it with the most advanced technologic means to safeguard security and the homeland until the new Libyan authorities can ensure internal security.”
Quwaydir’s name was among four others as candidates for the post of prime minister before the Transitional National Council last week entrusted Abdel Rahim al-Kib with forming a government. Quwaydir said that he “fully believed that the new government should not include ministers who served in Gaddafi’s regime even if they took side with the revolution from the start. This will ensure that the Libyans will not have to face what happened in Tunisia and Egypt.”
Quwaydir called on the new Libyan government to place several priorities on its agenda, including security, training border guards, tending to the families of the martyrs and wounded, “particularly because a large number of the injured are limbless.” He said that the government should be “trusted” as this would assure the people that there were new faces in the government capable of orchestrating the transitional process without having to repeat the Egyptian and Tunisian experiences, where a number of ministers of the former regimes were kept in the governments.
Discussing the problem of the revolutionary brigades and the proliferation of arms in Libya, Quwaydir said that no one could deny that the efforts made by the revolutionaries complemented the people’s revolution. He added that it was easy to solve this problem, proposing to the new rulers to give the revolutionaries an opportunity to have a say in the formation of the Defense Ministry. He added: “I propose holding a meeting with the chairmen of the military councils in Libya so they can choose a defense minister and his deputies.”