News / Africa

Gadhafi's Son Says Government Still Controls Tripoli

A rebel fighter walks in downtown Tripoli, Libya, August 23, 2011
A rebel fighter walks in downtown Tripoli, Libya, August 23, 2011

The son and one-time heir apparent of Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi, Seif al-Islam, defiantly appeared in Tripoli early Tuesday, saying his father's government still controlled the city, as rebels claimed to hold most of the capital.

Seif al-Islam presented himself to foreign journalists confined to the Gadhafi-controlled Rixos Hotel, despite earlier claims by opposition leaders that he was in rebel hands.  He then led a convoy through loyalist areas, where television footage showed him pumping his fists in the air as supporters cheered him.

The Libyan Rebellion

  • February 15, 2011: Inspired by Arab Spring revolts in Tunisia and Egypt, riots break out in Benghazi
  • February 26, 2011: The U.N. Security Council imposes sanctions on Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi and his family. The International Criminal Court is asked to investigate the crackdown on rebels.
  • March 19, 2011: U.S., Britain and France launch U.N.-mandated air attacks over Libya to halt advances on civilians by Mr. Gadhafi's forces.
  • March 30, 2011: Libyan Foreign Minister, Moussa Koussa, defects and flies to Britain. Other senior officials follow suit.
  • April 30, 2011: A NATO missile attack on a house in Tripoli kills Mr. Gadhafi's youngest son and three grandchildren.
  • June 27, 2011: The International Criminal Court issues arrest warrants for Mr. Gadhafi, his son Seif al-Islam and intelligence chief Abdullah al-Senussi.
  • July 15, 2011: The United States recognizes the Transitional National Council as the legitimate government of Libya.
  • July 28, 2011: Former interior minister Abdel Fattah Younes, who defected to the rebels in February and became their military chief, is killed.
  • August 20, 2011: Rebels launch their first attack on the nation's capital, Tripoli, in coordination with NATO forces.

The International Criminal Court on Tuesday disputed reports that it had confirmed Seif al-Islam's detention, saying the court never received official word from the opposition Transitional National Council.

Senior rebel sources also said another of Gadhafi's sons - Mohammed - escaped house arrest Monday. A third son is apparently still in detention, and Mr. Gadhafi's whereabouts are not known.  

The head of the opposition council, Mustafa Abdel Jalil, said Gadhafi will receive a fair trial if captured and that the "real moment of victory" will be when he is taken into custody.

Jalil acknowledged that the rebels have yet to establish full control in Tripoli, where forces loyal to Mr. Gadhafi have battled rebels in scattered pockets.  Opposition fighters say pro-government forces still hold 10-15 percent of the capital, including Mr. Gadhafi's Bab al-Aziziya compound.

Meanwhile, the International Organization for Migration said Tuesday the fighting in Tripoli has forced it to delay docking a boat to begin evacuating stranded migrants.  The group says the boat, which can carry 300 people, will remain off shore until the security situation improves.

Libyan state television remained off the air late Monday amid reports that rebels seized what had become a key instrument of government propaganda.

In addition to parts of Tripoli, pro-government forces also control at least two major cities affiliated with his tribe - Sabha, to the south, and Sirte, some 450 kilometers east of capital along the coast.  NATO says government forces fired three Scud missiles toward the city of Misrata.  No injuries were reported.

The rebels broke through Tripoli's outer defenses Sunday and reached the city's central Green Square, where thousands celebrated the opposition's arrival. Jubilant Libyans in the square, which the rebels have renamed Martyrs Square, tore down posters of Gadhafi and stomped on them. Until recently, the government had used the area for mass demonstrations in support of Gadhafi.

Gadhafi 42-Year Reign Marked by Controversy

Moammar Gadhafi, whose rule appears to be coming to an end in Libya, is the Arab world's longest-serving ruler, in power since 1969 when he deposed the King Idris in a military coup.

Colonel Gadhafi gained a reputation as an eccentric, donning flowing robes and animal skins and surrounding himself with all female bodyguards.

Labeled the "mad dog of the Middle East" by former U.S. President Ronald Reagan, the Libyan leader drew attention for his often-controversial political decisions.

Read more...


The rebel troops moved into central Tripoli with little resistance after capturing a key military base run by the government's elite Khamis Brigade and commanded by another of Gadhafi's sons.

On Sunday, Libyan state television broadcast a series of defiant audio messages from Gadhafi. The Libyan leader said he would stay in the capital "until the end" to defend the city and called on supporters to help liberate it.

Gadhafi has seen the areas under his control shrink significantly in recent weeks as rebels advanced on Tripoli after six months of fighting to end his four-decade long rule. NATO warplanes have been supporting the rebels by bombing pro-Gadhafi forces under a U.N. Security Council resolution authorizing military action to protect Libyan civilians from government attacks.

Some information for this report was provided by AP and AFP.

You May Like

Turkey's Controversial Reform Bill Giving Investors Jitters

Homeland security reform bill will give police new powers in search, seizure, detention and arrests, while restricting the rights of suspects, their attorneys More

Audio Slideshow In Kenyan Prison, Good Grades Are Path to Freedom

Some inmates who get high marks could see their sentences commuted to non-custodial status More

'Rumble in the Jungle' Turns 40

'The Champ' knocked Foreman out to regain crown he had lost 7 years earlier when US government accused him of draft-dodging and boxing officials revoked his license More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Victorious Secularists Face Challenge to Form Government in Tunisiai
X
Henry Ridgwell
October 30, 2014 11:39 PM
Official results from Tunisia show the Islamist Ennahda party has failed to win the second free election since the so-called "Arab Spring" uprising in 2011. Ennahda, which handed power to a government of technocrats pending the elections, lost out to the secular party Nidaa Tounes. Henry Ridgwell reports from London that the relatively peaceful poll offers some hope in a volatile region.
Video

Video Victorious Secularists Face Challenge to Form Government in Tunisia

Official results from Tunisia show the Islamist Ennahda party has failed to win the second free election since the so-called "Arab Spring" uprising in 2011. Ennahda, which handed power to a government of technocrats pending the elections, lost out to the secular party Nidaa Tounes. Henry Ridgwell reports from London that the relatively peaceful poll offers some hope in a volatile region.
Video

Video Africa Tells its Story Through Fashion

In Africa, Fashion Week is a riot of colors, shapes, patterns and fabrics - against the backdrop of its ongoing struggle between nature and its fast-growing urban edge. How do these ideas translate into needle and thread? VOA’s Anita Powell visited this year’s Mercedes Benz Fashion Week Africa in Johannesburg to find out.
Video

Video Smugglers Offer Cheap Passage From Turkey to Syria

Smugglers in Turkey offer a relatively cheap passage across the border into Syria. Ankara has stepped up efforts to stem the flow of foreign fighters who want to join Islamic State militants fighting for control of the Syrian border city of Kobani. But porous borders and border guards who can be bribed make illegal border crossings quite easy. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video China Political Meeting Seeks to Improve Rule of Law

China’s communist leaders will host a top level political meeting this week, called the Fourth Plenum, and for the first time in the party’s history, rule of law will be a key item on the agenda. Analysts and Chinese media reports say the meetings could see the approval of long-awaited measures aimed at giving courts more independence and include steps to enhance an already aggressive and high-reaching anti-corruption drive. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
Video

Video After Decades of Pressure, Luxembourg Drops Bank Secrecy Rules

European Union finance ministers have reached a breakthrough agreement that will make it more difficult for tax cheats to hide their money. The new legislation, which had been blocked for years by countries with a reputation as tax havens, was approved last week after Luxembourg and Austria agreed to lift their vetoes. But as Mil Arcega reports, it doesn’t mean tax cheats have run out of places to keep their money hidden.
Video

Video Kobani Refugees Welcome, Turkey Criticizes, US Airdrop

Residents of Kobani in northern Syria have welcomed the airdrop of weapons, ammunition and medicine to Kurdish militia who are resisting the seizure of their city by Islamic State militants. The Turkish government, however, has criticized the operation. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from southeastern Turkey, across the border from Kobani.

All About America

AppleAndroid