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Editor’s Note: In an interview with The Voice of Russia, Ibrahim Sharqieh discusses the current situation in Libya and the reconstruction efforts underway.
Dan Moody: If we look at the scarce news on the newswires the situation does not seem, shall we say, encouraging.
Ibrahim Sharqieh: Well, thank you for this question, it is important to discuss Libya at this particular time, because I agree with you there haven’t been much developments lately at least on the reconstruction efforts in Libya. Unfortunately we have heard some news about internal fighting, particularly in the capital Tripoli between different militant groups that have been reported in the news as you know in the past weeks, and even yesterday we had some news also about some additional fighting, especially in the southern part of the capital Tripoli.
Ibrahim Sharqieh: This is something that was expected when Gaddafi is gone, that Libya will have to face the reality of uniting their forces, and uniting their efforts, and engaging in a serious and tough reconstruction process in Libya. There has been a significant progress made on the political track with forming the government and appointing the Prime Minister, and engaging with different political parties in Libya and with different local councils. So, therefore there has been some progress made, but it is still a very long way to go. There hasn’t been any progress made on working with locals, or engaging with the real reconstruction process, or on the job creation, or in many other parts that the Libyans have been waiting so long to start. So, there is still a long way to go while the progress on the political track is being made, it is more about the reconstruction of the country, which is going to take a lot of efforts and time, and engagement with the international community as well. That’s where we still need to see more progress made, because the Libyans have been waiting for this to happen for a long time.
Dan Moody: You were saying about engagement with the international community. As far as I understand there have been some differences with the ICC regarding Sudan, as well as regarding the fate of the Saif al-Islam.
Ibrahim Sharqieh: I think that the ICC has given up on this issue, they wanted in the beginning to handle and manage the trial of Saif al-Islam el-Gaddafi. I think after the visit that we have seen by Luis Ocampo to Tripoli and meeting with the Libyans. What I suspect that he wanted to make sure that the Libyans are able to manage the trial process. It seems he received assurances that he would see a fair trial, and for that reason he made some statements that Libyans are now in charge.Though it is still unclear how this is going to be managed by the Libyans, especially that Saif al-Islam is still held by fighters of the Zintan brigade, which is not the central forces, the central council, but a part of the National Transitional Council. So, it is till with one group, which is concerned on the fair and free trial, but you wouldn’t see it, and this is how it is going to be down the road.