Libyan Prime Minister Ali Zeidan was briefly kidnapped and hours after set free by an armed group called The Libyan Revolutionary Operations Chamber, that said is acting “on the prosecutor orders”. Zeidan was “accused” of allow the United States to capture Al Qaeda suspect Abu Anas Al-Liby in Tripoli last weekend and put him under custody in an US Navy ship in the Mediterranean. Al-Liby was in the most wanted list for his involvement in the 1998 bombings of the US embassies in Kenya and Tanzania that left 224 people dead.
About the kidnapping of Zeidan, the group responsible said that “his arrest comes after the statement by John Kerry about the capture of Abu Anas al-Liby, after he said the Libyan government was aware of the operation,” according to Al Jazeera. The group involved is working with the Interior and defence ministries, but also operate autonomously, so the circumstances of the kidnapping are confuse, but there were suspicions that somehow the Interior ministry was involved.
Zeidan condemned the US raid and hours before his abduction visited the family of Abu Anas al-Liby to express his concerns, the AP reported. But now is himself a victim of the US operation in Libya’s soil and so is the frail stability of his government at the mercy of the militias that can embarrass them or put them on the verge of a deep crisis or complete chaos.
After today’s incident Zeidan wrote in a Twitter that his captors had wanted him to step down. “I am fine, thank God. If the aim of the kidnapping operation was for me to present my resignation, then I won’t resign. We are taking small steps, but in the right direction,” he said.
Now we’ll see if this attempt will weaken or strengthen his position. But the harsh reality is that the US operation prompted a huge crisis in a frail coalition government in an unstable OPEC country, where the regional factions are also seeking control over its oil wealth. Let’s see what happens next.