By Abdullah Al-Kabir

The horizon has become blocked in front of Khalifa Haftar, and his political future is dependent on the developments of the American position on the Libyan crisis and the entire region, and judging by previous experiences, his fate, as well as the fate of his dynasty and his partners, is almost becoming clearer.

The Libya Stability Law, which was approved by the US House of Representatives, and is awaiting the approval of the Senate, will be a sword shed on many of the leading figures in the scene, led by Haftar. And because his sons were at the center of his bloody project after he granted them military ranks and assigned them to the highest positions in his militia, their fate will not differ from the fate of those who preceded them in crime from the sons of murderous leaders, as Saddam Hussein and Gaddafi are not the last of them.

There is an American insistence on holding the Libyan elections on time, and in the face of this slowdown in taking the necessary steps leading to them, America and Western countries are activating their diplomatic arsenal in parallel with the threat of sanctions, which may be disrupted by the Russian veto and the supportive Chinese position if they are discussed in the Security Council. Therefore, a special law was introduced in the Libyan situation that gives American institutions at all levels the space required to move and confront the Russian incursion into Libya and the Sahel region, which threatens their interests and the interests of its allies, and confuses the calculations of its upcoming conflict with China.

A few weeks before the House of Representatives voted on the law, Haftar’s agents concluded a contract with two lobbying group to promote Haftar in American political circles, and arrange meetings for him with officials in the White House, for the purpose of propaganda and showing American support for him in the Libyan presidential elections, but the contract was annulled after voting on the law, as lobbying group and public relations companies will not find an official who will accept to meet Haftar, who seems to have some chapters of the law completely tailored to him.

The trial before which Haftar is being tried in absentia now in Virginia, USA, in several cases, will be just a prelude to other cases that will be brought against him for committing war crimes against humanity during the years he ignited wars in Libya under the pretext of fighting terrorism, culminating in the attack on Tripoli in April 2019, before defeating his forces and mercenaries and their fleeing, dragging the tails of defeat after more than a year, leaving behind ruins, mines and mass graves.

His defense team did not present any pleadings to refute the charges against him, because he does not have any counter-arguments to stand up to the strength of the evidence presented by the victims’ lawyers, contenting himself with trying to immunize him from prosecution with allegations that he bears presidential responsibilities, claiming that Libyan laws punish those who provide information containing secrets belonging to the Libyan state with the death penalty, and the court rejected this alleged immunity, and gave Haftar two weeks to appear before it and be questioned before the verdict is issued.

Some news refers to an offer made by some of the major powers to provide a safe exit for Haftar, stability in the Emirates, and to stop obstructing the path of transformation in Libya. I am certain that the offer is correct, or at least it was presented as an option with a number of other options that America is studying with its allies, to make the political settlement successful in Libya, but it is necessary first to stabilize the situation in his areas of influence and prevent the spread of chaos. And if this news is true or become the best options. Will Haftar accept and obediently go into safe exile, abandoning the dream that has been imagining for decades in ruling Libya in the manner of Gaddafi?

Given the extent of the crimes committed by his forces and their documentation in several international reports, and the availability of the conditions for filing cases against him in Libyan and international courts, it is likely that he will not accept the offer, which will not protect him from prosecution for the remainder of his life.

There is a precedent for this: The former Chilean tyrant Pinochet remained immune from the judiciary even after his departure from power, but as soon as he traveled outside Chile, the international judiciary began to prosecute him for crimes and violations during his rule in Chile. He was held under house arrest for a year and a half in London, and his illness or advanced age did not prevent him from being pursued, but his inability to appear in court because of his severe illness prompted the Spanish judiciary to stop prosecuting him, and Britain allowed him to return to Chile to complete his days in isolation in one of its remote villages.

It is known that Pinochet turned against the elected Chilean President Salvador Allende in the seventies of the last century with the support of American intelligence, as he was one of its prominent agents in Latin America to confront the communist expansion, then it abandoned him after his expiration, as it usually does with its clients when they expire.

It seems that Haftar’s validity for American interests is nearing its end, and the issuance of the Libya Stability Law, and the termination of the contracts promoted by America to win the presidency of Libya in the upcoming elections, and the frequency of talk about a safe exit are only strong indications of the approaching phase of post-Haftar, which may be delayed if he chooses to escalate and not surrender to his inevitable fate. Does he still have some cards to continue playing and his popular credit has almost run out?


Disclaimer:  The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the writer, and do not necessarily reflect those of the Libya Observer

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