Wednesday, 31 August 2011

Qadhafi forces continue to fight against resurgent rebels

Despite the speed with which matters seem to have moved in the last few weeks, elements from the Qadhafi regime continue to fight against the resurgent rebels. Loyalists are still fighting in parts of Tripoli and in the Qadhafi strongholds of Sirte and Sebha, which remain loyal to the regime. Pro-Qadhafi control is so strong in Sirte that rebel leaders have attempted to negotiate with the town rather than launch an all-out attack.

The whereabouts of Qadhafi is still a matter for debate. On 27th August, Associated Press announced that it had received a telephone call from his spokesman Musa Ibrahim. He claimed to have seen “Brother Leader” on 26th August, and said that he was carrying an offer from the Colonel to negotiate with the rebel leadership over a transitional government. The National Transitional Council (NTC) representatives have shown no interest in this overture.

The NTC has offered a reward of US$1,300,000 for anyone capturing Qadhafi. An amnesty has also been offered to anyone, including his supporters, who kills or detains the Leader.

Current speculations on Qadhafi's whereabouts are as follows:

There is a possibility that he is still in Tripoli, perhaps having utilised the many underground passages underneath his Bab al-Azizya compound
There is also a chance that Qadhafi has been in Sirte, or more likely in Sebha, for some time and is, together with his sons, directing resistance from there.
The latest rumour put forward by a former head of the special forces, Adbel Salam al-Hasi, was that the Leader has taken up a role with his Tuareg followers in the south western desert region of Fezzan, near the Algerian border.

For more news and expert analysis about Libya, please see Libya Focus and Libya Politics & Security.

© 2011 Menas Associates

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