Africa File: Large Libyan army convoy, top Qaddafi regime officials find shelter in Niger, Burkina Faso offers sanctuary to elusive ousted strongman; loyalists still control Bani Walid, Jufra, Sabha and Sirte; NTC renews accusations against Algeria

Blogger’s Note: Google and WordPress are blocking the name of the West African country “_iger,” presumably due to its similarity to a derogatory word for Black people.

 

Pictured above: Children play under a billboard of Nigerien President Issoufou Mahamadou in Niamey, on September 8, 2011.

Africa’s socialist/communist regimes are falling over themselves to offer sanctuary to officials of Colonel Muammar al-Qaddafi’s deposed regime. According to Libya’s ruling National Transitional Council (NTC) and the government of neighboring Niger, a convoy consisting of some 200 Libyan army vehicles entered Niger this past Tuesday. A thousand kilometers of desert separate the largest urban centers between the two countries.

The NTC maintains that officials and soldiers loyal to ousted strongman Qaddafi set out from the loyalist town of Jufra on Monday, making off with large amounts of gold and cash belonging to the deposed regime. With the help of Tuareg tribes in Niger and the Nigerien military, the Qaddafi loyalists slipped into the other country, albeit without their elusive ousted leader. The government of Niger, however, has confirmed reports that Qaddafi’s security chief Mansour Dhao was also allowed to enter its territory, even though Niger recognized the NTC as Libya’s legitimate government last month.

Not so coincidentally, the president and prime minister of Niger both belong to the Nigerien Party for Democracy and Socialism, placing them in the same ideological camp as Qaddafi.

On Friday, Reuters reported that a second exodus of 14 Qaddafi loyalists, including General Ali Kana, a Tuareg who commanded the dictator’s southern troops, fled to Niger’s northern city of Agadez. A Reuters reporter in Agadez said four top Libyan officials were staying at the Etoile du Tenere, a luxurious hotel believed to be owned by Qaddafi himself. “The group arrived in four four-wheel-drive vehicles on Thursday afternoon,” one of the sources said, adding that they were accompanied by Nigerien security forces.

Qaddafi is currently a fugitive in his own country, while his wife and three children have found state-protected sanctuary in Algeria, a country that has successfully resisted this year’s Arab Spring uprisings. The NTC believes that Qaddafi and his sons were planning to meet the convoy in Niamey, Niger’s capital, which is close to the border with Burkina Faso. There the Marxist regime of President Blaise Compaoré has offered refuge to the ousted strongman. Officials in Burkina Faso have yet to respond to reports suggesting that the Libyan convoy that entered Niger was actually on its way to their capital city of Ouagadougou.

Libya’s rebel National Liberation Army now controls most of the country, except for some pockets still controlled by Qaddafi loyalists, including the towns of Bani Walid, Jufra, Sabha, and Qadhafi’s birthplace of Sirte. Rebels have besieged Bani Walid and Sirte, and are engaged in talks aimed at the peaceful surrender of the two towns. Libya’s capital of Tripoli is under rebel control.

Meanwhile, Algeria continues to shut down its border with Libya, where the interim government has renewed accusations implicating Algiers in arms deals with the Qaddafi regime during its dying days. For its part, Algeria’s ruling National Liberation Front (FLN) maintains that Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb may try to seize leftover arms caches in Libya to prosecute terrorist actions.

Abdelkader Messahel, an Algerian government minister, declared all border crossing points would be closed indefinitely to contain the threat. “A new situation has been created by the Libyan crisis, notably through the arms flow and the massive exodus of people from this country,” he stated. In the 1990s, the FLN defeated an Islamic uprising that killed up to 200,000 people.

Documents recovered from regime offices in Tripoli by Canada’s Globe and Mail newspaper appear to show that Qaddafi planned to quell the uprising in his homeland with the use of Red Chinese arms smuggled through Algeria and South Africa. The People’s Republic of China, unlike Russia, has yet to recognize the NTC as Libya’s legitimate government.

2 responses to “Africa File: Large Libyan army convoy, top Qaddafi regime officials find shelter in Niger, Burkina Faso offers sanctuary to elusive ousted strongman; loyalists still control Bani Walid, Jufra, Sabha and Sirte; NTC renews accusations against Algeria

  1. mah29001 September 10, 2011 at 12:19 am

    Hmm, it sounds like neighboring African countries surrounding Libya are letting in top Gaddafi loyalists….after all the African Union which Gaddafi himself controls will likely not recognize the rebel Libyan government.

  2. mah29001 September 10, 2011 at 12:20 am

    I don’t get it with the PC thing here? A country versus a harmful word, can’t they tell the difference?

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