By Sami Zaptia.
Tripoli, 12 November 2013:
In a clear departure from his hitherto non-confrontational and consensus-seeking policy line, Prime Minister Ali Zeidan . . .[restrict]called upon the general, civilian and unarmed public to confront Ibrahim Judran and his militias who are blockading most of Libya’s oil exports.
Speaking at Sunday’s press conference, Zeidan called on the country’s support over the deepening oil crisis.
“Women, children, men and even old people should support the government and go to the oil ports and terminals to liberate them from the criminals and protect their only sustenance,” Zeidan said.
The Prime Minister said that if armed groups were to be sent to confront Judran, he would probably fire at them, but that he was very unlikely to fire at unarmed civilians. Zeidan refrained from referring to Judran by name.
Zeidan, counting on or hoping for some crumb of patriotism within those that are holding the whole nation to ransom by blockading its oil export terminals, said that surely even they would not fire on unarmed civilians?
“If the public rise against them, they will move out”, he said, in what could be a very risky policy move that could end up with the possible death of civilians encouraged to confront Judran by the Prime Minister himself.
The Prime Minister, further hinting at a change of policy and tact, said that his government “could not be told to continue negotiating and not take action and to avoid the use of force”.
He was in part sending a warning message to militias who opt to use armed force to obtain political demands, but most probably also to the GNC that is believed to be responsible for the government’s non-confrontational policy.
When pressed by the media to elaborate and reveal what policy options his government was considering, Zeidan said that his government “had plans” but that it “won’t reveal them”.
“We won’t declare what we will do until it is done”, he declared.
The Prime Minister hinting at the possible use of outside force also reminded that Libya was still subject to UN Resolution 1970 passed in order to protect civilians. “They won’t let Libya be a source of instability in the region. This is not a threat, it is a reality and all should understand this”, he explained.
Ominously, he warned that “we could be forced to name names and reveal information”, before stopping short of explaining exactly who’s names and what information he could reveal to the international community. [/restrict]