Al Jazeera has the highlights of the speech Saif al-Islam Gaddafi, son of Moammar, gave on Libyan State TV today:
In his speech, al-Islam blamed the unrest in Libya on tribal factions and drunken or drugged Islamists acting on their own agendas. He also promised reforms and said the alternative would be civil war causing no trade and no oil money for the country.
On reported deaths in the unrest, he said: ”There were some planning errors. Errors from the police … and the army that was not equipped and prepared to confront angry people and…to defend its premises, weapons and ammunition.”
“Each party has its own version of the story…But the unfortunate bottom line is that sons of Libya have died. This is the tragedy.”
On the demands of the protesters: He said he agreed with and understood the “clear political agenda and demands” by political organisations, trade unions and lawyers whom he said were behind the events in the east of Libya.
“These do not represent a problem. We understand and agree with their opinions.”
On the people he blamed for the unrest: “They have started by attacking army camps, have killed soldiers, officers…and taken weapons”.
“The security forces…have arrested dozens in Libya who unfortunately were among our brother Arabs and among the African expatriates…who were used in these events at these times to create problems…Some wealthy (businessmen) and tradesmen spent millions on them to use these people”.
“There are groups that want to rule, there are groups that want to form the state in eastern Libya and rule…in Benghazi and Baida…
“There are groups that have formed a government in Benghazi and groups that have set up an Islamic emirate in Baida … and another person who declared himself to be the ruler of the Islamic Republic of Darna”.
“They now want to transform Libya into a group of (Islamic) emirates, small states and even (cause) separatism. They have a plot. Unfortunately, our brother Arabs (allowed) their media, their stations and the inflammatory coverage.”