LIBYA:Gaddafi will have to relinquish power – INTERVIEW
Laaska News August 30,2011 AUDIO
Interview with Irina Zvidelskaya, Senior Fellow at the Institute of Oriental Studies.
Earlier Gaddafi said he was ready to begin talks on transition of the power, but Libya’s rebel government refuses to negotiate with Gaddafi unless he surrenders. What results do you expect?
I believe that sooner or later Gaddafi will have to relinquish power once and forever. It does not mean the end of the transformation of the political life in Libya, but probably it will really mark the beginning of it.
Do you agree that Gaddafi regime is not crumbling yet? Force and perhaps a full-scale invasion will be needed to finish it off.
I believe that the game is not over yet and there is fighting, and there will be fighting for I do not know how long. Unfortunately, the problem is also that it would be very difficult to bring Gaddafi to justice because it will by all means antagonize quite a big segment of the Libyan population – I do not mean only supporters of Gaddafi but other people who might feel sorry for him somehow, pity for him.
Some analysts believe that NATO is most probably involved in the ground operation in Libya. Do you share this view?
I do not think so. What I do believe that, of course, they provide air support and probably money as well – not directly but you know that some bank accounts of Gaddafi were unfrozen and the rebels had an opportunity to get some money, but I do not think that the NATO forces participate very actively in the ground operation.
As we know, Tripoli where the rebels took the power is affected by the water and electricity shortages since people are afraid to return to work because of the shooting and NATO shelling and, moreover, Tripoli hospitals are also in dire need of antibiotics, bandages and anaesthetics. So, how do you see the situation is going to develop?
I do not think it will be resolved very quickly, because when you are talking about these shortages, it is a real problem and since the fighting is still going on nobody can say when the situation will be brought back to order. What’s more, the rebels proved to be revolutionaries and fighters but nobody knows whether they will be good managers as well.
Yesterday I read an article of the Russian expert Konstantin von Eggert and he wrote that Russia had missed opportunity in Libya: “Russia has again missed a chance to be among those who make history rather than observe it from the sidelines.” What do you think of this statement?
Well, I do not share this point of view. First of all, I do not believe that Russia has a lot to lose in Libya, I mean Gaddafi’s Libya, and at the same time I do not believe that Russia will be able to win a lot under the new government. What’s more, it seems to me that position of not neutrality because, as you know, Russia supported the transitional government but did not recognize it yet, but the fact was that Russia could not support the operation of the NATO forces ‑ not the resolution which, as you know, Russia abstained but she was not against it, but the operation in Libya could not be supported because it turned into a manhunt and many people felt, as far as I understand, quite disappointed about this operation ‑ not only in Russia but in Western countries as well.
So, how do you see the future of Libya after the toppling of the Gaddafi regime?
It is difficult to say. I do not think I would be able to predict what will happen in Libya soon, because, as I said, there are a lot of question marks, first of all, concerning the ability of the new government to be a good manager, to be able to bring the country back to order politically and economically. At the same time we do understand that Libya is a wealthy country, it has enormous oil resources and actually it can revive soon enough, but a lot will depend on the local activities and also on the activities of the outside powers, and so on. At the same time nobody can exclude a possibility of split among the rebels; they represent different tribes, first of all, and nobody knows what will happen when they really gain power.
And what about further destiny of Muammar Gaddafi?
As for Muammar Gaddafi, I do not know, probably he will manage to escape or he will be killed somehow, shot somewhere – I do not know, but what we can say and what is obvious that his rule is over. As I said, I do not think he should be brought to justice, nobody wants to repeat the experience of Saddam Hussein and I do not think it will serve good for the country. The best thing is if he just escapes and nobody will know his whereabouts or if incidentally he is killed by someone.
Photo:Muammar Gaddafi. © Flickr.com/شبكة برق | B.R.Q/cc-by