In recent months, the General Khalifa Haftar seems to be preparing to play the role of Libyan President. Before the meeting in Paris with the representative of the government in Tripoli, Fayez al-Serraj, then on August 14 he flew to Moscow, coming back in Libya empty, but speaking to the press as already the new representative of the country.

Libya is divided between two enemy administrations. In one side, the Government of Tripoli headed by Serraj, supported by United States, Italy and UN. In the other the House of Representatives in the eastern city of Tobruk (or Tobruk), whose representative is actually not Haftar, but Aguila Saleh Issa. The second 'government' is primarily supported by Egypt, but least also by France and Russia.

The country was, after the deposition of Gaddafi, in the hands of two farce governments, each of which failed to have full control of the country but only a small portion, while militaries and Islamic groups such as Daesh were free to travel in the desert and in the cities, In a climate of total absence of security.

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In the Paris meeting of July 24, organized by Macron, they talked about a ceasefire and, for the first time, about elections. Almost discounted according to several Libyan analysts, who in the present state Haftar would have the best. However, the general knows that would not be so if he has to compete with the favorite son of the Libyan leader, Saif al-Islam Gaddafi.



His name in Arabic means "sword of Islam", after his father's death he succeeded him in leading the Libyan resistance and the so-called 'Jamāhīriyya'. According to the Russian Press Agency RIA, Saif al-Islam is trying to reorganize tribal clans, traditionally strong in Libya, especially in the southern part of the country.

For this reason the general has tried twice to kill him, as documented extensively in this article Algerian Agency and from Libya 24.

But let's try to understand something more, first, who is Khalifa Belqasim Haftar?

In the conflict between Chad and Libya, he was one of the raid army commander Mu'ammar Gaddafi. In 1987, he was captured during the Battle of Ouadi-Doum. In prison, he organized a contingent of about 2,000 Libyan prisoners, called the "Haftar Force", equipped by the United States to overthrow the Libyan regime.

Thanks to the United States was released in 1990, he lived about 20 years in America, so much to get American citizenship. In 1993, while his residence in Vienna, Virginia, he came from the Libyan court condemning, in default, capital punishment for "crimes against Libya Jamāhīriyya". Some have argued, over the years, that the general had contacts, or had worked, with the US intelligence agency (CIA).

Returning to Libya only in 2011, actively participating in the uprising against the Gaddafi regime. In 2014, with the outside help of Egypt, France and Russia organized the ‘Karama’ operation, in Arabic dignity. Haftar launched an attack on the fundamentalist-wing militias in Benghazi, assaulting the Libyan parliament's seat in Tripoli with heavy weapons.

Over the years, Egyptian political and military support, expressed by President al-Sisi, is becoming more and more explicit. On February 25, 2015 he was appointed general manager of the military forces in east side of Libya, becoming the strong figure of the country.

Who is Saif al-Islam Gaddafi.

Saif is the second of the eight sons of Gaddafi. It's always been on the side of his father since the outbreak of the Libyan Civil War of 2011. Along with the official government spokesman, Musa Ibrahim has been for years the main contact for the international press. For this political commitment to his father's side was enacted, for her, an arrest warrant on May 16, 2011. The warrant was signed by the prosecutor of the International Criminal Court, Luis Moreno Ocampo, accused of 'Crimes against humanity', a measure confirmed on 27 June of the same year.

In addition to The Hague tribunal, a court in Tripoli in July 2015 ordered the immediate capture and death sentence of Al-Islam for its role in repressing the uprising. The civil war lasted eight long months in 2011, and three other Gaddafi's sons died in the revolution. At the end of which the three Saif brothers survived, together with their Safiya mother, they found refuge first in Algeria and then in Oman.

On November 19, 2011, his arrest was announced at the border between Libya and Niger and his transfer to Zintan Prison, where he was held in isolation from the former rebels' militia, Brigade Abu Bakr al Sadiq.

Because of this arrest, both convictions - despite the ongoing debate over who would be judged by the Libyan authorities or the International Criminal Court - could never be enforced.

Today no one knows exactly where he is, after he was released on June 11 by the former rebels' militia who controls the city of Zintan. The news of his release was announced by a post published on Facebook on the fourteenth day of Ramadan.

More and more people are convinced that Saif may represent the turning point for stabilizing the country, seeing in him the right interlocutor capable of controlling the true Libyan power holding tribes.

What Italy and International Community can do?

As said before, each faction is supported by one or more Governments. Libya represented for Italy until the 2011 participation in the killing of Muhammad Gaddafi, the main ally in the Middle East, and a major foreign partner in terms of investment and trade in the oil sector.

A seizure of Haftar's power would mean leaving the country in the hands of Egypt and France, definitively losing the benefits of the Treaty of Friendship, Partnership and Cooperation between the Italian Republic and the Great Libyan People's Liberation Movement in Libya, made at Benghazi on August 30, 2008.

To prevent this happening, Italy - in addition to postponing its ambassador to Egypt in the wake of August, a move seen as a rendition in the Regeni affair - should press for the conviction issued by the International Criminal Court on Saif's head decay.

So Gaddafi can again take part in the legitimate political process of the country, finally to achieve real Libyan reunification through the participation of all parties and not just two.


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