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Cablegate: Qadhafi Foundation Continues Dialogue On Release of Former

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OO RUEHTRO
DE RUEHTRO #0577 1971549
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
O 151549Z JUL 08
FM AMEMBASSY TRIPOLI
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 3698
INFO RUEHTU/AMEMBASSY TUNIS IMMEDIATE 0552
RUEHAS/AMEMBASSY ALGIERS IMMEDIATE 0718
RUEHFR/AMEMBASSY PARIS IMMEDIATE 0549
RUEHLO/AMEMBASSY LONDON IMMEDIATE 0868
RHEHAAA/NSC WASHINGTON DC
RUEAIIA/CIA WASHINGTON DC
RUEHRB/AMEMBASSY RABAT IMMEDIATE 0664
RHEFDIA/DIA WASHINGTON DC
RUEHEG/AMEMBASSY CAIRO IMMEDIATE 1153
RUEHTRO/AMEMBASSY TRIPOLI 4207

C O N F I D E N T I A L TRIPOLI 000577

SIPDIS

DEPARTMENT FOR NEA/MAG AND S/CT

E.O. 12958: DECL: 7/15/2018
TAGS: PTER PGOV KISL PINR LY
SUBJECT: QADHAFI FOUNDATION CONTINUES DIALOGUE ON RELEASE OF FORMER
LIBYAN ISLAMIC FIGHTING GROUP MEMBERS REF: A) TRIPOLI 182, B) TRIPOLI 320 CLASSIFIED BY: John T. Godfrey, CDA, U.S. Embassy - Tripoli, Dept of State. REASON: 1.4 (b), (d) 1. (C) Summary: An ongoing dialogue between the quasi-governmental Qadhafi Development Foundation (QDF) and the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group (LIFG) has resulted in the release and reintegration of some 130 former LIFG fighters into Libyan society thus far (reftels). The dialogue, initially led directly by Libyan leader Muammar al-Qadhafi's son Saif al-Islam, aims to convince LIFG members in Libyan detention facilities to renounce violence and resume their lives as normal Libyan citizens. Approximately 90 LIFG members remain in Libyan prisons; discussions with them are ongoing and it is expected that they may be released soon. End Summary. 2. (U) Saleh Abdulsalam Saleh, Director of the Human Rights Committee of the QDF and a senior adviser to Saif al-Islam al-Qadhafi, provided an update on July 13 to CDA and Poloff regarding the QDF-LIFG dialogue. FORTY ADDITIONAL FIGHTERS RELEASED IN JUNE 3. (C) According to Saleh, talks between the QDF and LIFG have thus far resulted in the release of 131 former LIFG fighters - 91 in April (ref B) and an additional 40 in June. Saleh carefully emphasized that the talks were part of "a dialogue", vice negotiations, that had been underway for over a year and a half under the personal patronage of Saif al-Islam al-Qadhafi, son of Muammar al-Qadhafi. Saleh described the dialogue as unconditional, noting that the only thing required of LIFG members was " ... a willingness to change ideas on the use of violence". He stressed that the dialogue emphasizes the reintegration of former fighters, particularly with respect to helping them secure work after their release. He also confirmed press reports that the QDF had paid 10,000 Libyan dinar (about 8,300 USD) to each released fighter to help them re-establish themselves after their release, and had additionally paid monthly stipends to former fighters until they secured jobs. He said the "vast majority" of those released in April and June had already secured work; only a small number remained unemployed. QDF USES OUTSIDE MEDIATORS TO FACILITATE DISCUSSIONS 4. (C) Saleh said that Ali al-Salabi and Numan Ben Othman (the latter is a former LIFG member), usually accompanied by a QDF official, have represented the QDF in the dialogue. (Note: al-Salabi resides in Dubai and Ben Othman resides in London; both travel to Libya for their mediation work. End note.) Abdullah al-Sadiq, Abu Munther al-Saadi, and Abu Hazim al-Sharif have represented the LIFG leadership. The semi-official QDF mediators meet with the LIFG leadership at the Abu Salim prison, located on the outskirts of Tripoli, every two to three weeks. (Note: The Abu Salim prison is formally managed by military police; however, it is the facility at which most political prisoners are housed and the Internal Security Organization (ISO) plays a large role in administering it. End note.) The most recent meeting took place in mid-June; it is expected that the next will take place in early August. THE LIFG IS NO LONGER JUDGED TO BE A VIABLE ORGANIZATION INSIDE LIBYA 5. (C) Saleh characterized the LIFG as "not present on the ground in Libya", noting that the vast majority the known remaining members in Libya - about 90 individuals - are currently in Libyan government detention. (Note: A number of individuals affiliated with the LIFG are outside Libya. End note.) The LIFG as a terrorist organization is "completely gone", Saleh said. The QDF remains in contact with the 131 fighters released to date through local administrative authorities ("lajnaat al-shabiya"), and the QDF and Libyan authorities monitor former LIFG members to ensure they have "become citizens again and have peaceful ideas". GODFREY

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