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September 10, 2011

Niger: Gadhafi Son Crossed Border

by Scott Stearns

Niger said Sunday that one of former Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi's sons has crossed the border from Libya.  

Niger's justice minister, Marou Adamou, said Mr. Gadhafi's son, Saadi, entered the country without permission and was intercepted by Nigerien troops patrolling the Saharan border between Libya and Niger.

Adamou said Niger recorded the arrival of another convoy from Libya with nine people and that among them was Saadi Gadhafi.  The justice minister said Nigerien soldiers escorted the convoy in the direction of the city of Agadez.  He told reporters that he expects the Libyans to be transferred to the capital Niamey on Monday or Tuesday.

Asked whether Saadi Gadhafi is under arrest, Adamou replied that Niger will fulfill its humanitarian obligations.  Niger allowed the former head of Libyan security to enter the country last week on what it said were humanitarian grounds.

There is an International Criminal Court arrest warrant for Moammar Gadhafi and for his son Saif al-Islam but not for Saadi Gadhafi who last month tried to negotiate an end to fighting with the National Transitional Council.  But his brother Saif al-Islam dismissed those efforts, vowing to fight a “war of attrition.”

The head of the council says the deadline has passed for a negotiated surrender of three Libyan cities still held by pro-Gadhafi forces.  The former Libyan leader's whereabouts are not known.