As reported by Reuters today, Libyan security forces searching for the former Libyan dictator Muammar Gaddafi have information that he is in the south of the country.
Hischam Buhagiar, the commander of the search party tracking Gaddafi, said yesterday that the latter was seen in a village, only 300 kilometers north of the border with Niger. The name of the village according to Reuters is ‘Ghwat’. The only settlement in the area is Ghat, close to the Algerian border and not far from Niger.
Several witnesses have confirmed that Gaddafi is on the way further south, allegedly with the intention to cross into Chad or Niger.
On the other hand, Mussa Ibrahim, speaker for the toppled dictator, said Gaddafi is still in Libya, is in good health and is certain of the support of millions of people not only in his home country but all over the Arab world.
Speculations are running wild after a large military convoy of Gaddafi-loyalist troops has arrived in Niger, allegedly carrying gold and money. Al Jazeera reported yesterday that the convoy consists of 250 armoured vehicles! One interpretation is that this could be the escort to bring Gaddafi to a third country in Africa. Burkina Faso has been named, but the reason for that is not clear. The government of the West African country denied to have received a request for asylum. “Gaddafi in not in Burkina Faso and we have not been approached for any exile demand. Burkina (Faso) has not been informed of Gaddafi’s arrival. We are not expecting him,” Communications Minister Alain Edouard Traore said on state television.
Meanwhile, rebel forces are getting ready to take the last Gaddafi stronghold of Bani Waled, 150 km southeast of Tripoli. Negotiantions for a surrender of the Gaddafi forces in the town are ongoing but the presence of two Gaddafi sons makes this a difficult thing. So far two deadlines for surrender have passed and the rebels did not attack. But thousands of NTC fighters have surrounded the city of 82,000 and are ready to take it by force.
A field hospital was set up by the rebels and ten volunteer doctors are on site in case of a major battle.