Libyan Prime Minister, Ali Zeidan, who was abducted in Tripoli by armed militia and freed shortly afterwards has sued for calm in Libya as US, UK, France and the United Nations condemned the kidnapping.
Speaking at a press conference organised shortly after his release Thursday, apparently to confirm to the world that he is safe, Ali Zeidan assured foreigners living in Libya that the situation was under control and posed no immediate risk to foreigners.
An unnamed foreigner who was with Mr. Zeidan at the time he was captured was said to be safe.
Ali Zeidan was captured at a Tripoli hotel early Thursday morning by armed militia reportedly numbering over a hundred and driven to government building where he was held for several hours before he was eventually released.
Law and order in Libya is being maintained largely by militia groups in the absence of an organised military or police force. Some of these militia groups are being financed by the Libyan government.
The Libyan military and police have been decimated by the revolution.
The reason for the abduction was not clear but it appears that the militia who abducted the PM were protesting the US capture of an al-Quaeda operative, Anas al-Liby, by US forces last Saturday.
Al-Liby, before his capture by US forces was on the FBI most wanted list for his involvement in the 1998 twin bombing of US embassies in Kenya and Tanzania. He had been living in Tripoli openly since the revolution that swept Ghadaffi out of power.
The US government condemned the abduction with the US Secretary of State, John Kerry, calling it an “act of thuggery”, while UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon urged all Libyans to respect the rule of law.
The UK and France both pledged swift support for Mr Zeidan.
French President Francois Hollande said he stood ready to strengthen ties with Libya to tackle militants.
“We must be there to co-operate with Libya to put an end to these groups,” he said.
A spokesperson for David Cameron said the UK prime minister had spoken to a “calm and measured” Ali Zeidan after his release and had promised to help build a “stable, free, peaceful and prosperous” Libya.
A militia group, The Libyan Revolutions Operations Rooms (LROR), claimed responsibility for the abduction saying they were acting under the orders of the Prosecutor General but the Libyan Ministry of Justice denied this.