News / Africa

Senior Rebel Officials Arrive in Tripoli

Rebels and their supporters celebrate around the iconic statue of a golden fist crushing a US military bomber outside Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi's heavily damaged Bab al-Azizya compound in the center of Tripoli on August 24, 2011
Rebels and their supporters celebrate around the iconic statue of a golden fist crushing a US military bomber outside Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi's heavily damaged Bab al-Azizya compound in the center of Tripoli on August 24, 2011

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  • Clottey interview with Abdul Karim, general secretary of Libya’s opposition Transitional National Council (TNC)

Peter Clottey

The general secretary of Libya’s opposition Transitional National Council (TNC) says five executive members of the rebel movement have arrived in the capital to oversee the “complete liberation” of the country.

Abdul Karim, who is also the TNC’s national security advisor, said, “Ninety percent of the capital is under the control of the council now.”

“As you know,” he continued, “we still have the south of Tripoli under the threat of the Gadhafi regime. [It] is now using shelling and sabotage.”

He adds that the TNC has a “huge responsibility” to ensure that Libya’s affairs run smoothly after four decades of rule by Moammar Gadhafi.

Karim expressed optimism that the entire executive council of the TNC will move from its Benghazi stronghold to Tripoli.

Gadhafi’s whereabouts are unknown, but U.S. officials say they believe he still is in Libya.

Karim said the TNC will arrest the Libyan leader if they find out where he is hiding.

“Yes, we are looking for him and today there is a reward for anybody who catches or arrests Gadhafi.  Nearly $ 2 million was announced by some supporters of the TNC,” Karim said. He adds that the most important matter is to locate and arrest him and turn him over to the International Criminal Court (ICC).

The United States is reportedly seeking a U.N. resolution to release $1.5 billion frozen Libyan assets to the rebels. Karim welcomed the action.

He said the TNC is doing its best to have the international community release Libyan assets, which were frozen during Gadhafi’s time in power.

“Two thirds of [the country] is under our control, and we need the money to turn the economy around,” said Karim.

Several African countries, including Senegal, Nigeria and Kenya, recognize the TNC as the legitimate government of Libya.

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