(Washington, DC, 8/6/2021) – The Libyan American Alliance is extremely concerned about comments made by U.S. Ambassador Norland regarding a future role of warlord Khalifa Hifter in Libya and is calling on him to clarify his statement.
During an interview with Al-Jazeera, Ambassador Norland said, “There are a number of significant figures in the Libyan political and military scene right now, General Hifter is clearly one of them and his influence in helping, particularly in unifying the military institution in the country, could be significant”.
See below for video of the interview:
LAA President, Dr. Esam Omeish said in response, “Ambassador Norland’s comments are troubling and not helpful to Libyans. Mass graves are still being uncovered and the wounds of civilians in Tripoli, and around the country, are not healed yet, and to speak of a unifying role for Hifter would only serve to reignite the flame of division and drive Libyans further away.”
Dr. Esam added “In his speeches, Hifter still invokes divisive rhetoric and propagates hateful messages between Libyans.”
Mr. Faisal Gill, a lawyer representing victims’ families in a lawsuit filed in Virginia courts against Hifter, comments, “Before speaking of any role Hifter might play in the future of Libya, we believe he must face his victims in a court of law so he can be held accountable. At least, Ambassador Norland should give the courts in Virginia time to announce its verdict before extending him this misplaced endorsement.”