Zintanis and pro-Qadhafi tribes declare open support for Said al-Islam

Apr 18, 2024 | Libyan actors

On 18 April, a military parade by the Abu Bakr al-Siddiq Brigade and other militias took place in Zintan. A statement in support of Saif al-Islam al-Qadhafi’s candidacy for the presidential election was read out on the sidelines of the parade, calling for the holding of presidential and parliamentary elections to replace the current ‘corrupt leadership’. Saif al-Islam responded to the Zintanis’ statement with a verse from the Quran: ‘If you had spent all that is on earth, you would not have united their hearts, but God has united.’

Hajj Ali Busbiha al-Hasnawi, the head of Saif al-Islam’s Reconciliation Team, was arrested by the Government of National Stability’s (GNS) Internal Security Agency (ISA) in Sebha after he welcomed the Zintanis’ statement. He was transferred to Benghazi. His son Zakaria was also arrested when he went to the HQ of the ISA to inquire about his father’s whereabouts. The Supreme Council of Tribes and Cities of Fezzan and the alHasâûna, Busbiha’s tribe, have condemned Ali Busbiha’s arrest and called for his immediate release.

On 19 April and during the following days, the Supreme Council of Libyan Tribes and Cities in the Central Region, the Social Council of the Tuareg Tribes, and several tribes, including the Sia’an, the Wershefana, the al-Ghaddadfa, and the Mashashyiya, welcomed the statement of the Zintanis. On 20 April, in Bani Walid, a statement was read out in support of the Zintanis’ declaration for Saif alIslam. Numerous green flags were waved.

On 21 April, Presidential Council Deputy Abdullah al-Lafi called on the authorities in the East to release Hajj Ali Busbiha al-Hasnawi immediately and unconditionally. He said the right to freedom of expression and political affiliation must be guaranteed for all without harassment, tyranny or intimidation.