The Defection of Moussa Koussa

31st March 2011

The Libyan Foreign Minister, Moussa Koussa, arrived in the UK last night and announced that he had abandoned the Ghaddafi regime. This is a major development in the current Libyan conflict. It will significantly weaken the regime and encourage other senior figures within the regime to follow suit. Moussa was a very significant figure within the regime and part of Ghaddafi’s inner circle. He was instrumental in settling conflicts between Libya and the outside world, i.e. Ghaddafi’s WMD programme in 2003, Lockerbie in 1988 and the UTA Airline incident in 1989.

Quilliam’s senior analyst, Noman Benotman, has been heavily involved in encouraging and coordinating this brave move by Moussa Koussa. We at Quilliam have always been advocates of track two diplomacy and this incident illustrates the importance of maintaining diplomatic pressure on key figures within the Ghaddafi regime.  We hope such pressure will lead to an internal implosion of the regime which will save countless lives and bring about a new future for the Libyan people.

Noman Benotman said:

“This is a very brave move by Moussa Koussa and it could potentially have a devastating impact on morale within the Ghaddafi regime. Strategically, this move attacks the centre of gravity within the regime.  I hope other senior figures within the regime now realise that they too need to be part of the solution and not remain part of the problem.  Ghaddafi’s days are numbered and its’ time to hand Libya back to the Libyan people.”

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