International News

Tension Mounts As Libyan Convoy Crosses Into Niger


Ousted Libyan leader, Muammar Gaddafi is believed to have fled from Libya as forces opposing him plan to peacefully take control of Bani Walid.
Anti-Gaddafi forces that had planned to storm the town, which has remained loyal to the ousted dictator, were offered a deal that would see them taking the town without a fight.
The National Transitional Council (NTC) is reportedly finalizing negotiations for a peaceful handover with the town’s tribal elders.
The council had earlier given areas loyal to Col Gaddafi, including Jufra, Sabha and the former Libyan leader’s birthplace in Sirte, another week to surrender and avoid bloodshed.
Just as the negotiations were being concluded, reports filtered in that some key Ghadaffi loyalists have fled across the border into Niger Republic. The exodus started on Monday with several dozen pickup trucks and by Tuesday morning they were already moving toward the capital, Niamey, a journey of about 965 kilometers. There are indications that the convoy of about 250 vehicles might actually be heading to Burkina Faso as Niamey is situated in Niger’s south-western region near Burkina Faso. Gadhafi had been offered asylum by the Burkinabe government.
Street Journal gathered that the convoy is being accompanied by Rissa Boula, a Tuareg rebel leader and native of Niger who led a rebellion about ten years ago. He fled to Libya after the rebellion was crushed and was believed to have offered his services to Gadhafi.
One of the officials of the Transitional Council has disclosed that they know Ghadafi’s whereabouts and that the council will get him when the time comes. He said the first thing is to end the bloodshed.
Niger’s Foreign Minister Mohamed Bazoum, has however said that Ghaddafi was not in the convoy that crossed the border from Libya into Niger. “It is not true, it is not Ghaddafi and I do not think the convoy was of the size attributed to it” he said.

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