Friday, 16 August 2013
Libya: Rumours of coups d'état
With the country in a state of near-anarchy, it is unsurprising that talk of coups d'état is becoming rife. Pretty much everyone, from the Islamists to the powerful Zintan militia, has come in for mention. But one name that appeared earlier this month may prove to be ominous. It is that of the Libya Free Officers Movement which probably takes its name from Colonel Qadhafi's original Free Officers Movement which mounted the 1 September 1969 coup. It, in turn, took its name from the clandestine group of Egyptian junior officers, led by Gamal Abdel Nasser, who mounted the successful 1952 revolution.
It was first mentioned in Algeria's El Kabar newspaper. Algeria gave strong backing to Qadhafi during the 2011 revolution and has been the major 'counter-revolutionary' force in North Africa since the Arab Spring. There are rumours circulating that its DRS may have a hand in attempting to destabilise both the Tunisian and Libyan post-2011 governments.
El Kabar, which is invariably associated with 'disinformation', reported that it had received an exclusive statement by the Libya Free Officers Movement claiming that it was seeking to “activate 12 military regions and mobilise 14 military battalions, in addition to the air and defence forces … to shake the throne of falsehood and urge proud souls to reject the humiliation and injustice that have inflicted their country, as the forces of oppression and darkness have trampled on its pride.” For the moment, however, we regard the article as another example of Algerian trouble-making.
© 2013 Menas Associates