A court in Libya's capital convicted Seif al-Islam, a son of former Libyan dictator Moammar Gadhafi of murder and inciting genocide during the uprisings in 2011 on Tuesday, sentencing him to death in absentia. "The Tripoli court that sentenced Seif al-Islam, who is being held by a militia that refuses to hand him over to the central government, also sentenced to death eight others, including former Libyan spy chief Abdullah al-Senoussi, who is in government custody," AP reported. 38 Gadhafi-era figures, only 29 of whom were present, were tried and while six were sentenced to death, four others were cleared of the charges. "Since the end of the civil war, Seif al-Islam has been held by a militia in Zintan, which is allied with the Tobruk-based internationally recognized government against the Tripoli one. He is also wanted by the International Criminal Court in The Hague on charges of crimes against humanity. During the trial, Seif al-Islam was accused of recruiting mercenaries who were given Libyan nationality, planning and carrying out attacks on civilian targets from the air, forming armed groups and shooting into crowds of demonstrators. Among the charges he was convicted of were incitement of murder and rape," AP said.
Libya is on the brink of collapse and becoming a failed state as the security situation has severely deteriorated due to ongoing deadly clashes between rival militias that threaten to tear the country apart. In the vacuum of Libya's political chaos, major armed militia groups have tried to seize control of vast areas.
Libya has suffered from a chronic absence of security as various actors have emerged. The powerlessness of the central government has led many people to take up arms against the government. State security forces have also failed to protect the government, leaving the country unprotected and open to heavy clashes between rival militias trying to gain authority over the government and the country. Peace and political stability seems far off as no rival militias have been strong enough to put an end to the ongoing war. The central government, in a state of continued turmoil, has long been at the mercy of militias that hope to integrate and build a national army against the interim government. After Moammar Gadhafi's ouster, the army has disintegrated, and the central government has gradually lost its power without having much effect on the ongoing violent clashes between armed forces loyal to Haftar and militia groups that serve as part of Libya's regular army in the eastern city of Benghazi. As many militant groups have taken up arms against the fragile central government, the government has decided to hold an early election in June to replace the interim government through democratic methods. However, the problem is that there are no-well established political groups to play a role in holding democratic elections amid the rising unrest.