Musa Kusa breaks silence with "civil war" warning for Libya
Former Libyan foreign minister Musa Kusa, who defected to Britain, on Monday urged all sides in the conflict to avoid taking Libya into "civil war and becoming a new Somalia", dpa reported.
Breaking his silence for the first time since he fled to Britain on March 30, Kusa gave a statement to the BBC in Arabic, pleading for the unity of Libya to be maintained.
"The unity of Libya is essential to any solution and settlement in Libya. I ask everybody to avoid taking Libya into civil war," he said.
In his statement, recorded by a BBC correspondent "under controlled circumstances" at an undisclosed location in London, Kusa said he resigned from his post because he was "ready to make sacrifices for the sake of my country."
He had been "devoted" to his work and had been loyal to the Gaddafi regime for more than 30 years, Kusa said. However, the latest developments in his country had changed that.
"I ask everybody, all the parties, to avoid taking Libya into a civil war. This would lead to so much blood, and Libya will be a new Somalia," Kusa said. "The solution in Libya will come from the Libyans themselves, and through discussion and democratic dialogue."
Kusa said he came to Britain for personal reasons, but also because Britain and Libya had "worked together against terrorism and successfully avoided terrorist action."
The BBC's Middle East expert, Jeremy Bowen, said Kusa was "clearly sending a message back home." However, he would not have been able to make his statement without the blessing of British authorities.
The British government has insisted that it would not grant Kusa immunity from prosecution in connection with his knowledge of or implication in acts of so-called state-sponsored terrorism.
Before becoming foreign minister in 2009, Kusa was head of Libya's foreign intelligence service.