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"Gaddafi is smart" but his days are numbered says Moniquet

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"Gaddafi is smart" but his days are numbered says Moniquet


Francois Chignac, euronews: Claude Moniquet, you are co-founder of the Brussels-based European Strategic Intelligence and Security Centre. So, as an expert in international relations, who would you say has caught whom by the ceasefire? Is it the nations which backed the resolution? Or is it Gaddafi who has come out on top?

CM: I think today it is Mr Gaddafi who has been smart, as he has already been several times in the past. He tried to trap the international community. Things are certainly going to get more complicated, especially with the Arab League. But, fundamentally I don’t think it is going to make a massive difference.

FC, euronews: There is still a feeling that he has caught everyone out…

CM: Mr Gaddafi is an extremely interesting and complex character. When you hear him speak, when you listen to the words, it is like one step forward, one step back. He has been like that since the start of the crisis. I think that we are, once again, in the same pattern. Someone complex, surrounded by other interested complex characters such as his sons and certain advisers like Mr Moussa Koussa.

FC, euronews: Could this lead to a split within Gaddafi’s regime?

CM: Perhaps, in relation to his sons. They are all his deputies and advisers. But there are also rivalities between them. They don’t like each other and they fight. That said, it is also possible that all this is calculated, because Colonel Gaddafi has very bad memories of the US bombardments and sanctions during the 1980s and he surely won’t want to repeat the experience. He knows his country paid a very heavy price.

FC, euronews: So you think he might be bluffing?

CM: He is intelligent and effectively capable of anything. But I think he has gone too far in this crisis and it is going to be very difficult for him to remain in power.

FC, euronews: But do you think we are heading towards a Somali-like conflict?

CM: I think he has been trying to buy time, and to do that, to buy lots of time, he has had to make the situation a lot worse. Perhaps he thought this would then give him an extra card to play. Perhaps for a few months, or years.

FC, euronews: So, in the hours or days to come, how do you think the countries that support the resolution will react?

CM: I think they will look for proof of the ceasefire and once that is received, there will be an intervention. Despite everything, I believe the no-fly zone will be implemented.

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