By Hadi Fornaji.
Tunis, 24 August 2017:
Saif Al-Islam is not in the south of Libya but in the Wirshefana district, west of Tripoli, senior southern tribal figures have told the Libya Herald.
The figures, who asked not to be named, said that reports that he had gone south after he was released in Zintan in June were not true. They insisted that he had never gone south, and that it was disinformation.
It was reported at the time that Saif was with the pro-Qaddafi military commander, Ali Kana, and his Tuareg forces somewhere near Obari. It was also reported that Saif would make a statement by the end of June. This never happened. Likewise photos of him with Tuaregs circulating on the internet turned out to be old.
Another highly-placed and usually reliable Libyan official from the south who also denied that Saif was there, has revealed that he was in indirect contact last week with the former dictator’s son through Wirshefana militiamen. He said they were working with Saif who was now in the Wirshefana area, west of the capital.
The militiamen, he added, had told him that Saif intended to enter Tripoli in September (the month of his father’s 1969 coup) and take it, as they put it, “without bloodshed”. They claimed to be confident of him doing so, saying they had a strong and growing presence there, and had allies in the city.
When contacted, Wirshefana sources denied this, claiming that Saif was in Bani Walid. However, source there likewise denied this report, saying that he had asked to go there but while some senior members of the community had agreed others had not, fearing it would divide the community and open it to attack.