Bitter and Out of Touch: Mahmoud Jibril Lashes Out at International Community
In an interview with Al-Hayat translated by Al-Monitor, Mahmoud Jibril releases his vitriol scapegoating others, and especially the West, for the policies of appeasement of the militias of which he was the primary architect. Fascinatingly, he believes that the international community’s pursuit of UN dialogue causes young Libyans to join ISIS and conspiratorially asserts that Western policies were meant to promote jihadism and prevent the centralisation of power post-Qadhafi. This shows the deep mistrust and political fragmentation which characterises the current Libyan political landscape. Most revealingly, this interview must serve as a reality check for those who think the pro-HoR and pro-Emirati wing of Libyan politicians can be easily reconciled to the UN process.
When we wanted to dismantle the militias after the fall of the regime and a decision was issued by the Executive Office in this respect, why did the international community refuse this? …
We support the dialogue, but we are against the current approach. The government is doomed to failure, since it is not an efficient government. It has no army or police and no money. How will it meet citizens’ urgent needs? I advised Sarraj not to enter Tripoli so as not to become a hostage in the hands of the militias. He told me that he was being pressured to enter Tripoli….
Al-Hayat: You talked about states funding terrorism in Libya. Can you name them?
Jibril: I don’t want to mention names. But the intelligence of major states and the regional intelligence were watching the planes land at Libyan airports and transport IS terrorists from Syria and Iraq. Libya’s UN envoy to Libya submitted two reports during two of the UN Security Council’s closed sessions that the representatives of all members in 2012 and 2013 attended. He gave statistics, mentioned names, figures and states that violated the arms embargo on Libya and that supplied certain militias with weapons. Not a single state objected or condemned the action of these violating states.
Al-Hayat: You reproach the dialogue for not including influential parties such as leaders of armed militias because they are powerful on the ground. Might there be dialogue with IS?
Jibril: I am not talking about IS but about the militia leaders who carry arms and have no other alternative and those who are armed out of fear of the establishment of a state. Such a prospect is not in their interest as they committed crimes, accumulated wealth and gained social status. They would not want the return of the state because it would take away many of their privileges, and they carry arms out of necessity — not out of choice. But they know they are murderers and can be murdered, too. They want to enjoy the spoils of war and are searching for an escape because they do not want to die. But they were not offered an escape. They weren’t told they would be partners in building the state, and they definitely will not accept to be victims of its establishment. This is the real deal…..
Al-Hayat: Do you think that those who committed murders can partake in building the state?
Jibril: Crimes are not subject to a statute of limitations. Once a crime has been committed, its perpetrator must be punished. This is the rule. I think that many members of militias joined these militias due to the bad economic situation. The economy in place is an economy of militias and terrorism. When they see that the government is unable to pay salaries, many young men find themselves forced to join the militias; therefore it seems as if the international community is pushing Libyans to join IS and the armed militias. What will a young man do when [IS and the armed militias] offer him a salary between $2,000 and $3,000, a machine gun and influence among people, while the other alternative [the government] is unable to redress the economy or pay the salaries of government employees?