Ex-Libyan PM fears country will become terror base
LONDON - Agence France-PresseFormer Libyan prime minister Ali Zeidan on Tuesday warned that Islamist groups were sabotaging attempts to rebuild his country in order that it become a haven for extremists, in an interview with Britain's newspaper The Times.
Zeidan, who fled to Germany after losing a parliamentary confidence vote earlier this month, said that he was preparing to return "maybe very soon" to help restore order and repel the threat of extremism, two-and-a-half years after the killing of veteran ruler Moamer Kadhafi.
"Libya could be a base for Al-Qaeda for any operation to Italy, to Britain, to France, to Spain, to Morocco, to everywhere. Weapons are everywhere, ammunition is everywhere," the former prime minister, who was in London to meet British politicians, told the newspaper.
"My plan is to struggle to reform the state, to stabilise the situation".
He suggested that groups such as Al-Qaeda and the Muslim Brotherhood were exploiting rifts within the country he ruled for 15 months.
"These people want Libya not to be a civil state, not to be a state of law, they want it as what happened in Afghanistan," he claimed.
Zeidan, an independent, was unable to tame former rebel militia that have carved out their own fiefdoms since the 2011 uprising that toppled the dictatorship of Kadhafi.
The no-confidence motion -- triggered when a North-Korean-flagged tanker laden with crude oil from a rebel-held terminal broke through a naval blockade and escaped to sea -- was approved by 124 of the 194 members of the General National Congress.
The former prime minister claimed two political groups were behind his removal as premier: the radical Wafa movement, and the Justice and Construction Party which is the political arm of the Libyan branch of the Muslim Brotherhood.