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LIBYA, THE ISOLATION OF ZIDAN

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The attempted coup in Tripoli, with the arrest/seizure of Ali Zidan, has confirmed the worst fears: Libya is now out of control and remains so, despite the fact that the Prime Minister was returned to office a few hours after the maneuver contrived to oust him from power.

The fact is the game is still on and Zidan, informed sources report, is perfectly aware of it. He doesn’t want to give up, though, even at the cost of his life, he has told more than one associate.

The fear authoritative sources express to WikiLao is that the world has placed a trust in Zidan that, though justified by his history and his honesty, is still excessive if put in relation to his real capacity for leadership in today’s Libya. In the West, Zidan’s culture is very much appreciated, his sensitivity for the respect of human rights is well liked, and he is particularly applauded for his vision of a country that is more modern and more just. But, these sources reflect, he tends not to acknowledge his failures.

Even if “for responsibilities not necessarily ascribable to him,” the Premier “has failed to halt the process of decomposition” in Libya, one analyst notes. A long-time diplomat is on the same wavelength: “Zidan has had an excellent rapport with the emissaries of governments and international organizations, while, objectively, he has not been able to do this with the pieces that form the very complicated puzzle that is Libya.” A Zidan “not in tune” with his country – indeed, “considered at this point by many as a foreign body with respect to it” – would represent a kind of “impossible dream” and in following it there is the risk of losing sight of the dramatic reality.” A reality that tells of a gas and oil production almost paralyzed by deep divisions, with Cyrenaica close to eruption (the attacks in Benghazi are increasing dramatically) and a clear lack of communication with the Berber tribes.

Although there are some evaluations according to which Zidan has strengthened his position by managing to remain at the helm of the government after the events of October 10th, in Tripoli the prevailing opinion is that Judgment Day has only been postponed.

Nuri Ali Abu Sahmain, the President of Libya’s Congress, is not the only enemy at the door. He enjoys the support of a political front strengthened by the acquisition of Islamist factions to the cause: there are about one hundred – according to authoritative sources – antigovernment members of Parliament. And negotiations are underway to convince others to vote for a motion to impeach and overthrow Zidan, this time politically.

(Photo: REUTERS/Ismail Zitouny)

October 16, 2013