Libyans Seize Qaddafi’s Son, the Last at Large

Discussion in 'West Asia & Africa' started by SHASH2K2, Nov 20, 2011.

  1. SHASH2K2

    SHASH2K2 New Member

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    Libyans Seize Qaddafi’s Son, the Last at Large

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    ZINTAN, Libya — Libyan militia fighters on Saturday captured Seif al-Islam el-Qaddafi, the last fugitive son and onetime heir apparent of Col. Muammar el-Qaddafi, setting off nationwide celebrations but also exposing a potential power struggle between former-rebel factions over his handling.
    Militia leaders based in Zintan, a western mountain town and stronghold of resistance to Colonel Qaddafi’s regime, said they captured Seif al-Islam early Saturday in the southwestern desert near Awbari, along with a small entourage.

    But while transitional government leaders in the capital, Tripoli, promised that Mr. Qaddafi would be closely guarded and turned over to the International Criminal Court to be tried on war crimes charges, leaders in Zintan insisted that they would not hand him over until a formal national government was formed.

    That process is in the works, but still at least a day or two away, raising the possibility that Mr. Qaddafi could be a bargaining chip to ensure a larger Zintani role in the new government. Such insistence on factional power is at the heart of international concerns about Libya’s future. And after Colonel Qaddafi’s capture and killing at the hands of militiamen a month ago, his son’s case will be an important test of Libya’s commitment to the rule of law.

    On Saturday, the prosecutor for the International Criminal Court said he would head to Libya in the next few days to discuss how and where Mr. Qaddafi would be tried. “We are coordinating with the Justice Ministry to ensure that any solution is in accordance with the law,” said the prosecutor, Luis Moreno-Ocampo.

    Leaders in Zintan promised that they would protect Mr. Qaddafi and that justice would take its course.

    “We are arranging a very safe place for him,” said Mussa Grife, a member of the Zintan revolutionary movement’s political committee. “The people of Zintan want to leave a good impression for the world and treat Seif according to human rights and according to Islamic values.”

    Tellingly, the Transitional National Council’s prime minister, Abdel Rahim el-Keeb, came to Zintan with an entourage of officials to celebrate the capture.

    “Congratulations to all Libya, all men, women and children,” he said at a news conference here. “Now we can build a new Libya.”

    Seemingly responding to concerns about Mr. Qaddafi’s safety, Mr. Keeb emphasized that the government in Tripoli was in no rush to take direct custody of Mr. Qaddafi and that it would let those in Zintan hold him.

    “We trust their ability to take care of this,” he said. “They will keep him in peace, and take care of him, unlike how he treated our people.”

    In scenes of celebration outstripped only by news of Colonel Qaddafi’s capture and death last month, Tripoli’s streets erupted in revelry at the news that Mr. Qaddafi had been seized. Vehicles clogged intersections, horns blaring, and militiamen shot their rifles into the sky. In Zintan, thousands of people poured into the streets as fireworks and rocket and gunfire broke out.

    The capture eliminates perhaps the best hope that loyalists had of rallying a new revolution around the remnants of the Qaddafi family. It also represents a personal transformation that turned Seif al-Islam from the most prominent advocate of changing his father’s Libya into one of the chief architects of the regime’s deadly crackdown on dissent in its final days.

    Mr. Grife said Zintan fighters had been following Mr. Qaddafi through the desert using local sources for intelligence about his whereabouts in the past few weeks. When they learned he and a small entourage would try to make a break to leave the country, perhaps bound for Tunisia, they laid a trap for him on Saturday morning along a valley road outside Awbari, an oasis town.

    When Zintan fighters blocked the caravan, Mr. Qaddafi broke from his vehicle and was captured on foot. “They tried to fight,” Mr. Grife said. A few shots were fired, but there were no reports of any wounded.

    A reporter for Reuters was on the plane with Seif al-Islam as the fighters flew him from Awbari to Zintan. The reporter said that although Mr. Qaddafi appeared very frightened, he was in decent condition. He wore an uncharacteristically heavy beard, and showed the reporter his heavily bandaged right hand, which he said was wounded in a NATO airstrike about a month ago.


    http://www.nytimes.com/2011/11/20/world/africa/gaddafi-son-captured-seif-al-islam-qaddafi-libya.html
     
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  3. SHASH2K2

    SHASH2K2 New Member

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  4. W.G.Ewald

    W.G.Ewald Defence Professionals/ DFI member of 2 Defence Professionals

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    "Leaders in Zintan promised that they would protect Mr. Qaddafi and that justice would take its course."

    First trial, then execution. They got that backwards with his father. :-(
     
  5. The Messiah

    The Messiah Bow Before Me! Elite Member

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    This is difference between mercenaries and loyal men.
     
  6. Armand2REP

    Armand2REP CHINI EXPERT Veteran Member

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    France again catches another Gaddafi...
     
    Dovah likes this.

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