Libya, a war for the resources’ control. Conversation with Mohamed Buisier
By Vanessa Tomassini.
“In 2011, during an interview with an American television I explained that in Libya, we cannot have a revolution as there was no leadership or agenda, as sociology provides. I said people can blow up and we can have an intifada. And that is what happened in Libya. Then the International Community used it to settle down Qaddafi. He had a long list of enemies across the World, so they helped us in getting rid of him. We didn’t have a revolutionary agenda, manifesto. The Qaddafi regime was controlling the economy in Libya. In 1977, the private sector used to contribute 65% of the GDP out of oil sector. It was an era of economic opportunities not only for Libyans but also for Italians, Egyptians, Jordanians and Palestinians. You go out on the street at that time and you would find expats families, I was having Italian friends. Then Qaddafi closed the economy and only the Government was running business. Government officials started to know how to be corrupted, they were surrounded by some assistants, people relatives, dealing with foreign companies and they have been corrupted to implement projects in Libya. It was a Stalinist, corrupted economy. When the Libyan people get rid of Qaddafi this Stalinist economy remained. At the beginning, Qaddafi know how to run it. He was giving people the basis, but everything more was for Government officials. With one source of wealth, the moneys coming from the Central Bank from oil exportation, the Government was making the spending and the fight started as all the parties want to control the only source of wellness. They will say some religious and regional slogans to mobilize a party against the other. The core of the struggling is to control the Government and consequently the country’ resources. With those disputes and struggles, the Country’s institution fragmented and we started to have two Governments, two Central Banks, two armies. This is normal because there is no continuous market place. We arrived to a point that the International Community is fade up”. So, tell us today Mohamed Buisier, a Libyan engineer living in the US, Texas, who many believe could play a leading role in the next Libyan elected executive due to his political and financial experience.
About him, Buisier says: “I am an engineer, consultant engineer, specialized also in environmental. I have a quite long political life in Libya: I was arrested by the Qaddafi regime in 1973 and I spent almost a year in jail. I was always at the opposition, in all phases, but I never got involved in violence, military, I also never worked for foreign intelligence. I belong to a political family, my father was the first Foreign Minister of Libya, he was the youngest member of the Parliament during the Kingdom. So, we do have what we can call it political identity, we are with the people, we do not care who rules the country. We were at the opposition for two or three generations. In the Arab World, unfortunately, we do not have legal opposition, so if you are against the government, you are a fowl.”
Will you run for Libya presidential elections?
“I have an American citizenship so I cannot run, but I have been approached by Fathi Bashagha to be his Prime Minister in case he will be elected president. We will introduce ourselves together, we are waiting for the third guy, then we going to have a stand up in the theater and an introduction for all. I am in the group to work on economy reforms. I really believe in free market; I live in the US for 27 years. We can say that I am a successful businessman and I know the magic that free market can do. I think if we get rid of the Government monopoly in Libya and spread the business to the people, through direct investment and attracting foreign investors, everyone can work and make money. We are now in a very poor situation, in terms of technology, knowledge, etc.”
What do you think of Turkish and Russian policies in Libya?
“Turkey and Russia are trying to replace the West in Libya. The Turks are coming back to the Libyan shores after one hundred years. The Russians are coming back towards the south to fulfill what he said to the African leaders in the 2019 Russia- Africa Summit: we are coming to help you to get rid of European colonialism. Mali is completed controlled by Russia, while France is going out. Country… after country. We are in a situation where everybody need stability in Libya because also Turks and Russians are in the spending phase, they didn’t make any revenue. To make revenues, you need stability. The International community arrived a point to think that elections now, in December 24, will help them to reach stability in Libya.”
What’s your position regarding withdraw of foreign forces, fighters and mercenaries?
“It’s not going to happen as they talked in Paris. It’s naive. First of all, I believe that to have foreign bases in Libya is not so bad. And we can create or transform some facilities in military bases for Turkey and Russia. Also, they are going to spend money to be there. I think that is better to deal with the Turkish or Russian Government than with our militia’s leaders out of control. We will work out, we will sign military deals, but we cannot go to the Turkish and tell them go out! I do not like to believe in impossible things. I do not want them to train certain militias and I do not want to have the head of Turkish intelligence in Tripoli, working with the Libyans. I do not want the Russians as well to have their own agenda and nobody control them, but we can negotiate to make things according to the international standards, that’s what I plan to. Even Americans understood that there are possible and impossible things.”