Libyan Prime Minister Ali Zeidan is calling for calm tonight after his bizarre kidnapping by a government-allied militia and multi-hour detention at his own government’s Interior Ministry.
The militia that kidnapped Zeidan claimed to be acting lawfully in carrying out an arrest warrant against the prime minister for “corruption,” but was released after the admission that no such warrant existed.
A truly bizarre state of affairs, compounded by the fact that Zeidan’s capture wasn’t even the most high profile kidnapping in the capital city of Tripoli in the last week, after US ground troops briefly invaded the city and captured a “suspect” named Abu Anas al-Liby.
If the weekend capture of Liby was a sign of growing instability, the capture of the sitting prime minister just days later reflects the reality that Libya is on the verge of a total security breakdown.
Since NATO attacked Libya in 2011 to impose regime change, the rebels-turned-government had struggled to consolidate power, coping with growing city-versus-city fighting and unrest that has ground materially the nation’s only industry, oil exports, to a virtual halt. Those are long-term problems, but the reality is that the short term problems dwarf them now, and the Zeidan government’s days may well be numbered.
Last 5 posts by Jason Ditz
- Poland Offers US $2 Billion to Establish a Permanent Military Base - September 18th, 2018
- Moon: North Korea Agrees to Allow Nuclear Inspections - September 18th, 2018
- Fate of Syria's Idlib Deal Rests on What al-Qaeda Does Next - September 18th, 2018
- South Korean President Greeted in North With Calls for Peace, Reunification - September 18th, 2018
- North, South Korea Leaders Agree to Rekindle Stalled Nuclear Talks - September 18th, 2018