Home / News / Libyan MP: Haftar, the 'axis of evil' and the battle for Libya | Talk to Al Jazeera

Libyan MP: Haftar, the 'axis of evil' and the battle for Libya | Talk to Al Jazeera



Libya has been mired in conflict and violence since the country’s 2011 civil war that toppled and later killed longtime dictator Muammar Gaddafi.

The oil-rich nation is now divided, with a UN-recognised but weak administration in the capital Tripoli overseeing the country’s west and a rival government in the east aligned with the self-declared Libyan National Army led by renegade military commander Khalifa Haftar.

Libyan MP and former foreign minister Aly Abuzaakouk and Haftar lived in exile in the US “for many years together as acquaintances, as friends … in Fairfax”, and also knew Gaddafi during his school days. They’d both “suffered from the ruthless regime” of Gaddafi.

But after Hafter went back to Libya and “started to build his own entourage”, Abuzaakouk “realised this is not a person I would continue to have a relationship with … He is a man who believes he is worthy of controlling Libya and he always would speak about the need for a strong force to control Libya.”

In April, Haftar launched a military offensive against the government in Tripoli and vowed to fight until Tripoli ‘militias’ were defeated.

But according to Abuzaakouk, Haftar’s “base of support in the east is not as it used to be”. In an interview with Al Jazeera, he said that opposition to Haftar has grown after the assault on Tripoli, with tribes now openly opposing him and “calling for reconciliation with the rest of the country”.

“Many forces have come together … to support Tripoli, and the militia in Tripoli also defended their city … They stopped the forces of Haftar and now they are hitting them back,” he added.

But while support for Haftar might be waning inside Libya, he still has strong backers outside the country, says Abuzaakouk.

“The former president of Tunisia spoke about the axis of evil. Abu Dhabi, the Saudis and the Egyptians … This axis of evil has a mandate to work against the success of the Arab Spring,” he said.

“I think the international community have to realise they have supported Haftar with weapons against the United Nations Security Council resolutions. Everybody knows … that there are arms coming from … at least Abu Dhabi and Egypt to Mr Haftar.”

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres recently appealed to all countries to enforce the arms embargo against Libya saying the issue is “of immediate importance in de-escalating the current situation” and “of critical importance to the protection of civilians and the restoration of security and stability in Libya and the region”.

As Libya’s ongoing crisis is still being deliberated in the international community, Abuzaakouk believes that the world at large failed the once wealthy African nation. “Getting rid of Gaddafi was step number one. Building Libya to really restructure itself was step number two and the world community at large left Libya alone and that, I think, was a great mistake.”

“Life in Benghazi and in Derna is unbearable, it’s worse than the days of Gaddafi. There’s no freedom of speech, there’s no freedom of law, there are a lot of killings, extrajudicial killings … I’m very clear that the war crimes committed by Haftar or others should be investigated,” said Abuzaakouk.

“There are now forces in Washington, in The Hague to really follow up on the war crimes that have been committed in Libya … the Libyans deserve to have some of the criminals be brought to justice.”

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24 comments

  1. well , i have interest on world politics . i have some understanding on world issue as i hear news as well as analysis . But Libya is the one and only country i have nooo idea what is going on there and what is there problem LOL.

  2. Honestly, I don't know too much about Libya but I will never agree with this man. Because Gaddafi was a great leader and he served his people and Africa continent very well. He did very well to transformed Libya and I will forever cherish him. I personally think, this man is saying all this out of hatred. Gaddafi was a great and wonderful leader by all standard. May his wonderful soul rest in perfect peace.

  3. I’ll become the first women president in libya, I mean why not, I would make a great country if I do say so myself

  4. This guy is a fool. Open air slave markets and Africa flooding into Europe where they have no right to be. NATO needs to stop social engineering.

  5. Gaddafi was an African Hero who prospered his country and helped African children to build their villages for those who went to work in Libya and was sabotaged by guys like and Haftars from foreign capitals and now they’re busy butchering each other the same way while stupid Libyans are dying in daily basis.
    God help Africa from African themselves!.

  6. The CIA is destroying Libya

  7. Obama's ligacy is a ruined chaotic Libya shame on that gay rights advocate

  8. have haftar serve an elected president. sign oil contracts with eu and join opec for income.

  9. President Ghadafi was a great president. He made Libya the number 1 economy and a beneficent government. NATO and the USA destroyed Libya to rob Libya of 140 tons of gold. There are no good politicians; however I pray that Gen. Hafter win the dictatorship from the American puppet now called President of Libya. Russia and China supports Gen. Hafter and he has the interests of all Libyans.

  10. Ghadafi is the best.. and you're evil Satan with Europe and USA Israël and Saudia support to muder of the best leadership in Africa.. see Libye how is today..

  11. Gaddafi & Sadam were far better leaders than any that the Zio-US Mafia ever can put in place to uplift LIBYA & IRAQ from becoming progressive Economies.

  12. See what happens when you ally yourself with the zio cia and zio USA military. You get what you deserve.

  13. This man…Aly Abuzaakou also live in Virginia with Haftar. So he is also a CIA agent….(?)
    Haftar is old, in a few year, he will also die (of old maybe)…
    He can be a dictator or not….
    But now… Libya NEED a one nation…

  14. This guy is a loser.Haftar is saving libiya from Islamist and isis

  15. What a joke peace plan in the UN are you serious..

  16. Haftar has worked for cia & musad since decades ago till now…. He betrayed his own boss gadafi…. Libya destroyed and Libyans suffered just because of traitors like him…. So he's not a hero… He's a puppet… And he's not trustworthy…. Look at history, all traitors end up either dead or in prison…. Even the regimes of saudi arabia & emirates won't last long because they r puppets…. Saudi regime and emirates regime betrayed all middle east countries

  17. Quite informative. Quite a good interview.

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