Africa In The News

Former Libyan prime minister kidnapped in capital

JOHANNESBURG, August 14 – The former prime minister of Libya, Ali Zeidan, was kidnapped by gunmen from a hotel in the capital Tripoli on Sunday.
This was the second time that Zeidan was kidnapped from a hotel after he was forced out of Tripoli’s Corinthia Hotel at gunpoint in October 2013.
Members of Haytham Tajouri’s Tripoli Revolutionary Brigard (TRB) were alleged to be behind Zeidan’s latest  kidnapping from the Victoria Hotel in Khaled Ben Waled Street, off Omar Mukhtar Street, the Libyan Herald reported.
There are unconfirmed reports that the TRB was executing a warrant issued by the attorney general Sadiq Al-Sour. There has as yet been no reaction from the Presidency Council (PC).
Zeidan left for Germany in March 2014 after he was fired by the-then Parliament, the General National Congress (GNC).
The former PM returned to Libya on several occasions, during one of which visits he claimed he was still prime minister. He returned again this year and told the media he had visited a number of towns and cities including Tobruk, Beida, Benghazi, Zintan, Sebha and Jufra.
After a visit to Sebha in July, reports filtered through that while on a visit to the town he had called for the division of Libya, claims that he strongly denied.
During his abduction in 2013 Zeidan was held for a few hours before being released.

The previous abduction was blamed on two GNC members for Zawia, Mustafa Treiki and Mohamed Al-Kilani. In 2014 Kilani was killed in fighting with Warshefana forces.

Kidnappings of politicians and citizens alike continue to plague Libya.

In June the United Nations reported numerous cases of kidnappings, arbitrary detention, torture, sexual assault, mass killings and summary executions in all areas of Libya by several groups with and without ‘‘official mandates’’.

The assessment came in the UN Libyan Experts Panel final report presented to the Security Council.

The 299-page report said that ‘‘the (UN Libya Experts) Panel continues to receive frequent reports of serious human rights violations. The absence of the rule of law and institutional control over armed groups, some of which continue to operate under official mandates, have led to a deterioration of the human rights situation in Libya’’.
‘‘Detention conditions continue to be inhumane throughout Libya, and formal and informal detention centres are under the control of armed groups.
“Arrests and detentions by armed groups do not respect due process. The Panel received numerous reports of kidnappings and arbitrary detentions used by armed groups for political or material benefit. Politicians, activists, bank employees and journalists are frequent targets,” added the report.

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