This past week an interview revealed that the son and long time, would-be successor to Muammar Qaddafi is planning to stand in Libyan elections. It is a sign of how bad things have become in the North African state that Libyan tribes and groups are seriously considering him. The troubled nation has become a hotbed for terrorists and fleeing immigrants that have unsettled Europe, revealing how serious this issue is for geopolitical world affairs.
It reminds you of why you need a gold IRA to hedge your investment and retirement portfolios. When geopolitical chaos threatens order and stability in the financial markets, gold is the one historically proven safe haven you can turn to hedge your assets. Gold makes sense in times of market turbulence. You need to understand how to invest in gold via an IRA now. One of the issues for Gold IRAs surrounds the precious metal storage.
The Situation in Libya Is Bad and Not Really Improving
The political and economic situation in Libya has gone from bad to worse since the U.S. and European powers toppled Qaddafi back in 2011. The mystery surrounding how he died has been controversial for years. Yet one thing which everyone can agree on is that the country fell into chaos shortly after the fall of Qaddafi and his family.
In the more than six year interim, the country was divided into two administrations in the Eastern section and capital Tripoli. Several dozen militias picked off other pieces of the state fragmenting it even further. There was a two year long period where ongoing tensions and sometimes violent disagreements cut off the nation’s lucrative oil shipments. This had been the backbone of national income for the North African country.
Oil exports have been revived since then, yet the crushing damage to the economy was already done. In today’s Libya, the citizens have to spend hours in lines waiting to withdraw tiny amounts of money from the banks. The country’s currency the dinar has become so weak that inflation is rampant. Only currency speculators have done well out of the monetary devastation.
UN Interventions Have Failed
The United Nations worked to put in place a unity government arrangement back in 2015. It did not succeed in re-unifying the country with such efforts though. Fayez al-Sarraj headed a government the UN sent into the capital Tripoli. His government was unable to gain control over either the militarized factions or the eastern breakaway administration.
The United Nations tried again with another envoy Ghassan Salame back in June. His altered plan needed to see a final deal achieved before the end of Sarraj’s term. Unfortunately this ended on December 17th without any final arrangement.
The international community still recognizes Sarraj as head of government, but this belies reality on the ground in Libya. The so-called Libyan National Army commander Khalifa Haftar has called the peace process dead. As he dominates in the oil resource heavy east of the country it is hard to imagine a national unity deal without him.
Haftar has been attempting to become de facto military leader of the country but has put this ambition on hold as he works to win over voters beyond his traditional supporters for the elections. When you read about the current political situation in Libya, it is easy to see what a confused mess the country is still in today.
Fugitive Qaddafi Son Tries for Comeback
In the midst of all this political infighting and intrigue comes the previous successor to Qaddafi, his son Seif al-Islam. Seif lives in hiding today abroad, yet former Libyan Economic Development Board head Abdel Majeed al-Mansouri says that Seif will run. Though many analysts on Libya do not give him a serious chance, his return (along with other Qaddafi loyalists) demonstrates how angry the public is because of the chaotic instability and economic collapse.
It is hard to believe today that Libya used to be the wealthy oil exporting nation envied by many neighbors. As Mansouri who speaks for Seif declared recently:
he “decided to run in presidential elections and I see a big chance for him because all the big tribes are supporting him. People are frustrated. Even those who were against the old regime will side with him as he’s not coming back representing the old regime. He’s coming with his plans for Libya’s future.”
Seif himself has not given any official statements or interviews as he lives in hiding. The family spokesman did reveal to the magazine Egypt Today that he will run in the election. Close confidante Mansouri from his home in Turkey has confirmed these intentions.
Neither of the men have provided any information on how Seif would bring together the Libyan people and factions or restart the shattered economy. Mansouri believes that he will be a part of the economic team if Seif is successful.
Yet Qaddafi’s Son Is Wanted for Crimes Against Humanity
The circumstances surrounding a Qaddafi son presidency become more complicated when you consider Seif’s international status. In 2011, the rebels caught and held him. The International Criminal Court sought to arrest him later that year. Seif stands accused of crimes against humanity from the time of the rebellion that toppled Qaddafi. He never faced extradition but was instead tried by a court in Tripoli in 2015.
While they issued him a death sentence for the crimes he was accused of during the revolution, his jailers freed him in June of that year. The question today is whether or not he would be disqualified by the international and national courts’ charges. Even Mansouri who was speaking for him does not know where Seif is today.
Libyan Elections May Be Held in 2018
With or without Qaddafi’s son, elections should occur in 2018. This all depends on the various factions consenting to an election procedure though. The eastern-based Haftar is likely to run since he gave a mid-December speech claiming that he would answer only to the people of Libya. Transitional era leaders like current head Sarraj will run too.
Qaddafi’s son Seif could find a willing audience because of the deteriorating situation in the country. Today’s Libyan streets are dominated by leaders of area militias, black market figures, and other smuggler types. Meanwhile in the capital, UN envoy Salame is to host a nationwide conference in an attempt to pull in a larger part of the various factions in the country. He hopes to get them to sign off on an election agreement.
Chaos in Libya Spreading Encourages You to Hold Gold
You can see why Libyans would be frustrated and why many have fled the country towards Europe in recent years. The NATO-led effort that overthrew Qaddafi left the nation in a chaotic mess. Meanwhile this ensuing massive immigrant exodus has caused severe problems for European countries from Italy to Germany and Sweden. It has also created a fertile breeding ground for the flight of Islamic State fighters to Libya and North Africa.
This is only another geopolitical mess and example of the reasons to acquire gold for your retirement portfolio. Events like these can lead to disruptions in oil and financial markets. Gold offers insurance and protection during market turbulence. Now is a good time to consider what gold goes in an IRA.