Libya: Is Muammar Gaddafi still in Tripoli?

Or has he fled to a safer haven?

Rebels control much of the Libyan capital, as people rejoice in Martyrs' Square, the rebranded Green Square, and at the now-taken Bab al-Azizia barracks and Gaddafi family compound.  Gaddafi has been broadcasting highly irritating messages which have been broadcast by a Tripoli radio station saying he'll die a martyr or be victorious.  Who or what on earth he might believe he'd be a martyr for, other than his ill-conceived and somewhat ludicrous "Great Socialist People's Libyan Arab Jamahiriya", no-one could possibly guess.  Reuters also reported Gaddafi said, "his withdrawal from his headquarters in the heart of the capital was a tactical move after it had been hit by 64 NATO air strikes." 

But where is this man?  The options are numerous, he might be:

(1)  In his home city of Sirte, east along the Mediterranean coast halfway to Benghazi.  He'd be safe there for a bit but the place would fall after an inevitable siege, or be taken by emboldened NTC forces.

(2)  Deep in the south of Libya at the edge-of-desert stronghold city of Sabha.  Could he start a resistance fight-back from there?

(3)  Venezuela, although would even his friend Hugo Chavez (taking medical treatment for cancer) be prepared to accept him in Caracas as the Venezuelans signed an accord with the International Criminal Court and Gaddafi is subject to a warrant for his arrest on charges of torture and killing of civilians and rebels.  So, Venezuela would be obliged to arrest and extradite him.

(4) The other country appearing to tacitly support him has been South Africa, yet the ANC government are in the same boat as Venezuela - they'd have to arrest him too.

(5)  Saudi Arabia, where ex-presidents Ben Ali of Tunisia and Saleh of Yemen fled.  Yet the Saudis dislike Gaddafi intensely, by all accounts, so that's probably a non-starter.  

(6)  Another country.   Which other nation would take on such a gross liability?  Or face such a hostile reaction and serious ramifications from the ICC, UN, US, EU and Arab League if they did?  Should he have reached Sabha he could have hopped across the border into Niger or Chad, getting even as far as Mali as he commands support in all three. Many of his mercenaries were recruited from these countries.  There've also been unconfirmed reports via the BBC that he and his family were spotted en-route to Algeria.

(7)  Hiding somewhere in Tripoli as a few districts are still under loyalist control. 

Saddam Hussein was discovered in a hole "like a rat" as Maj. Gen. Raymond Odierno described it.  CNN reported at the time he'd "shuttered himself at the bottom of a narrow, dark hole beneath a two-room mud shack on a sheep farm."

We'll soon all discover where Gaddafi is located perhaps...

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1 comment:

  1. Drinking champers at Claridges possibly. He could just say he is a lookalike. The sheer audacity would work for a bit if he was in London. Reminiscent of Osama bin laden's living arrangements next to a military academy in Pakistan.