Libyan defector, former foreign minister Moussa Koussa has warned British officials that civil war could turn his country into “a new Somalia.”

In his first public statements since fleeing to exile in the UK almost two weeks ago, Koussa implored both sides in Libya to cease hostilities.

The unity of Libya is essential to any solution and settlement,“ he told BBC. I ask everybody to avoid taking Libya into civil war. This would lead to so much blood and Libya would be a new Somalia.

Koussa, who also served as Libyan intelligence chief, is staying at an undisclosed location.

Rather than subject himself to an open-ended interview, Koussa delivered a prepared in Arabic.

He further said: More than that, we refuse to divide Libya. The unity of Libya is essential to any solution and settlement for Libya.

Koussa is a highly controversial defector and has been accused of being involved in the Lockerbie bombing tragedy in 1988 which killed more than 270 people. Further, since he was an elite member of the Gaddafi regime for 30 years, he likely committed many crimes.

He said that Libyans need dialogue on democratic reforms, adding that western powers should allow Libyans to build a freer society themselves.

However, he asserted that the UK and Libya are strong allies and should remain so.

Koussa’s comments come just after Libyan rebel groups rejected a peace proposal from a delegation of African Union leaders because the plan did not call for the immediate resignation of Moammar Gaddafi. The Libyan leader had earlier accepted the plan.