알리 제이단 총리 피납사건을 계기로 리비아 내에서 준동하는 무장조직 실태에 국제사회의 우려가 확산되고 있다.
중동전문가들은 무아마르 카타피 독재정권 축출 2년만에 리비아가 '실패국가''무정부국가'로 추락했다는 사실을 이번 사건이 극명하게 보여줬다는 분석을 쏟아내고 있다. 인디펜던트는 "한 국가의 실패가 이번처럼 공개적이며 당혹스럽게 입증되기는 매우 이례적인 일"이라고 10일 논평하기도 했다. 로이터 통신 역시 제이단 총리 피납사건이 미국 등 국제사회의 대리비아 정책의 실패를 여실히 드러냈다고 평가했다.
<10일 새벽 셔츠바람으로 무장괴한들에 의해 끌려가는 제이단 리비아 총리(왼쪽)>
10일 제이단 총리를 납치했다가 약 6시간만에 풀어준 무장괴한들은 스스로를 '트리폴리 혁명작전실' 로 밝혔다. 이들은 오전 3시 30분쯤 트리폴리 코린티아 호텔에 들이닥쳐 군인,경호원, 호텔 경비원들이 지켜보는 가운데 총 한방 쏘지 않고 총리를 셔츠만 입혀 끌고 갔다가 석방함으로써 자신들의 무소불위 세력을 과시했다.
알자지라, 리비아 헤럴드, 매클래치 등의 보도에 따르면, 트리폴리 혁명작전실은 '리비아 이슬람 전투그룹''리비아 방어여단' 등 내전 당시 활동했던 반군 조직원들이 만든 조직으로 추정되고 있다. 내무부, 국방부 등과 손잡고 트리폴리의 치안유지를 맡아온 것으로 알려졌다. 이들이 10일 페이스북을 통해 제이단 총리를 "검찰의 요청에 따라 체포"했다고 주장한 것도 정부 조직의 든든한 후원을 받고 있기 때문으로 추정된다. 정부 조직 및 관리들도 입맛대로 반군 잔당들의 무장조직들과 연대하면서 경쟁세력을 제거하거나 이익을 챙겨왔던 것이 사실이다. 이런 가운데 지난해 10월 제헌의회 투표 승리를 통해 총리가 된 인권변호사 출신 제이단 정부의 영향력은 한계를 나타내고 있다. 리비아 전문가 존 해밀턴은 크리스천사이언스모니터와 인터뷰에서 "리비아의 중앙권력은 사실상 존재하지 않는다"고 말했다. BBC는 리비아 내 군사기지 약 4000 곳 중 정부가 통제하고 있는 곳은 20곳에 불과하다고 지적했다.
상황이 이렇다보니, 이번처럼 무장조직이 국정을 쥐고 흔드는 일이 비일비재하다. 최근 동부 유전지대에서는 현지 무장조직이 정유시설과 항만을 점령하는 바람에 석유수출이 전면중단되는 사태가 벌어졌고, 카다피 시대 관료의 공직임명을 금지하는 법 제정을 요구하는 무장조직원들이 법무무, 외교부, 의회 등을 점령하며 공무원과 의원들을 위협한 적도 있다.
한편 제이단 총리는 10일 TV로 중계된 내각회의에서 이번 사건은 "정치적 대립의 결과"라고 말했다. 최고치안위원회(SSC) 위원장 하셈 베슈르 역시 정부와 연계된 리비아혁명작전실이 "검찰이 총리 체포영장을 발부했다"는 잘못된 정보를 근거로 체포에 나선 '해프닝'으로 해명해, 이번 사건이 확대해석되는 것을 경계했다.
<리비아의 주요 무장조직들>
2011년 카다피 축출 이후 리비아에서 활동하는 무장 조직은 약 1700개로 추정되고 있다. 정부는 무장조직의 해체 및 무기 반환을 추진하고 있지만, 사실상 정부가 힘이 없는데다가 정부 조직 내부의 분열로 인해 제대로 이뤄지지 않고 있다. 유엔 등 국제사회에서 카다피 축출 이후 가장 큰 과제로 내전기간에 쏟아져들어갔던 무기의 환수를 꼽으면서 실패할 경우 최악의 상황이 초래될 것이라고 우려했던게 현실화되고 있는 듯하다.
▲Libya Revolutionaries Operations Room
The Libya Revolutionaries Operations Room (LROR), which says it kidnapped the prime minister, is one of many "semi-official" armed groups which control much of Libya. The group has been endorsed in the past by the speaker of Libya's parliament, Nuri Abu Sahmayn. Its modus operandi, judging from its Facebook page, is to detain those accused of financial impropriety or who had links to Gaddafi's government. But the kidnapping of the prime minister is by far its most high-profile operation.
The group was among two named by the prime minister's website as being responsible for seizing Mr Zeidan. The other was the Anti-Crime Unit, which is affiliated with the interior ministry. It is not so far clear which group led the operation. The LROR says the arrest had nothing to do with the US capture of terror suspect Abu-Anas al-Liby on 5 October, and that the prime minister had to answer for financial irregularities. However, it did condemn the US raid as a criminal act.
In the east of the country, Benghazi has several militias which were placed under the ministry of defence's control by the Libyan National Transitional Council (NTC) in June 2011. However, the grouping - called "the alliance of the battalions of the revolutionaries" - did not include some of the more powerful militias, such as the now disbanded Ansar al-Sharia.
▲Martyrs of 17 February Brigade
The Martyrs of 17 February Brigade are considered to be the biggest and best armed militia in eastern Libya. The brigade is financed by the Libyan defence ministry. The brigade consists of at least 12 battalions and possesses a large collection of light and heavy weapons in addition to training facilities. Its membership is estimated at between 1,500 and 3,500. The group has carried out various security and law and order tasks in eastern Libya and Kufra in the south. Some of its members are also believed to be fighting the Assad government in Syria.
▲Martyrs of Abu-Salim Brigade
The Martyrs of Abu Salim Brigade, a group of former jihadists, were among the first to revolt against the Gaddafi regime in February 2011. The group's Facebook page shows daily posts of letters from heads of schools and hospitals, either asking for protection from thieves and vandals or giving thanks.
The brigade supervises community projects, such as the asphalting and repair of some roads in Darna, east of Benghazi, and appears to be the sole force of law and order there. There is no clear information about the group's ideological position despite its clear Islamic tinge. The militia is named after the infamous Abu Salim prison, in which many Libyan Islamists perished under Gaddafi's rule.
▲Martyr Rafallah Shahati Battalions
The Martyr Rafallah Shahati Battalions are named after one of the first Libyans to die while fighting Gaddafi's forces in March 2011 in Benghazi. The group began as a battalion of the 17 February Martyrs brigade, before expanding to become a group in its own right. Its members are estimated at 1,000 with presence in eastern Libya and in Kufra. The brigade took part in securing the national elections and other ministry of defence operations in eastern Libya. It denounced the killing of the US ambassador in Benghazi.
▲Libya Shield Force
The Libya Shield Force grouping of militias appears to be the most widely deployed in Libya. Its appearance and conduct resemble that of a conventional army unit. The force reports to the Libyan defence ministry under the command of Wisam Bin Ahmid (or Humid), who commanded a Benghazi brigade called "Free Libya Martyrs".
The force includes smaller militias from Misrata, Khums and other small towns in central Libya. The force is divided into three main brigades in eastern, central and western Libya and carries out law and order and combat tasks. On social media, reactions to the group are favourable across Libya in comparison to other militias, particularly over its charitable work.
In the West of the country, militias accrued power and influence during the 2011 conflict when ex-army and navy personnel joined civilian volunteers to form armed combat groups. Two Tripoli militias, led by Abdullah Naqir and Abdel Hakim Belhaj, dissolved in 2012 and re-emerged as new political parties.
▲Al-Zintan Revolutionaries' Military Council
The military council of the Zintan area is best known for detaining Saif al-Islam Gaddafi after his capture in November 2011. One of its leaders, Osama al-Juwali, is now the Libyan defence minister. The council was formed in May 2011 to organize military efforts of 23 militias in Zintan and the Nafusa mountains. It has five brigades, the most prominent one being the Martyr Mohammed al-Madani brigade, which boasts about 4,000 members. The council is currently led by Mukhtar Kalifah Shahub, a former Libyan navy officer. The group has various Arabic-language media outlets. These include a satellite channel called Libya al-Watan and several websites and pages on Facebook.
▲Sadun al-Suwayli Brigade
The brigade is part of Misrata's Military Council, which includes other fighters from the coastal city. In addition to taking part in the liberation of Tripoli, the brigade is credited with having led the final assault on Sirte, Gaddafi's hometown. Part of the brigade remained in Tripoli, where they occupied and provided protection to government buildings and facilities. It is commanded by Faraj al-Suwayli. It recently became part of the security servic
es despite operating fairly independently of the government. The group was condemned for briefly kidnapping journalist Suleiman Dughah who had criticised Misrata's militias.
Originally from Zintan in the Nafusa mountains, al-Sawaiq took part in the assault on Tripoli in September 2011 and was tasked with protecting senior figures in the transitional government thereafter. Since then it has changed its name to Al-Sawaiq Brigade for Protection. Al-Sawaiq came under the authority of the ministry of defence in October 2012. The group's size is unknown but it appears to be well-armed, especially with anti-aircraft guns mounted on its jeeps. Its commander is Imad Mustafa al-Trabulsi. Like other Libyan militias, al-Sawaiq shows signs of adopting moderate conservative Islam.
Al-Qaqa brigade was formed by a group of Libyans from the west who trained in the Zintan area during the 2011 conflict. It is commanded by Uthman Muleiqithah who defected from Gaddafi's regime after the 17 February revolt. The militia was tasked with the provision of law and order and the protection of senior officials and government ministers. The militia is officially under the authority of the defence ministry.