As fighting for control of the Libyan capital Tripoli, between forces loyal to the internationally-recognised government and those supporting renegade general Khalifa Hafter, continue, the son of a former revolutionary leader has accused Hafter of ordering the assassination of Saif Al Islam while he was imprisoned.
Islam is the son of the late leader Muammar Gaddafi. He was sentenced to death by a court in Tripoli in 2015 for crimes committed during Libya’s 2011 revolution after he was captured in the city of Zintan during the revolution.
Islam was pardoned and released in 2017. However, he is still wanted by the International Criminal Court (ICC) for crimes against humanity.
Ibrahim Al Madani, the son of Mohammed Al Madani one of the 2011 revolutionary leaders in Zintan, said Hafter had promised to pay him for killing the imprisoned Islam while also guaranteeing his safety in return, the Libya Observer reported.
Madani said the renegade general’s offer was also extended to other military officers but was ultimately rejected.
Hafter and his men from the self-styled Libyan National Army (LNA), who support the opposition House of Representatives (HoR) government in the east in Tobruk, invaded Tripoli in early April to overthrow the internationally-recognised Government of National Accord (GNA).
The ongoing fighting has killed over 500 people, injured 2000 more, displaced 78,000 and caused massive damage to the capital’s infrastructure.
Meanwhile, as the UN and the international community try to mediate in bringing and an end to the fighting and bloodshed, Hafter’s relationships with former Gadaffi loyalists continue to deteriorate after the assassination of General Masoud Al Dawi – a senior member of the Tribes Army that was formerly loyal to Hafter – by his forces.
Hafter has also accused the head of the United Nations Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL), Ghassan Salame, of being biased in trying to end the fighting while emphatically denying that he is receiving arms and other military support from the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Egypt.