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Fears Over Gaddafi’s Forces In Nigeria
According to Hamada Radio International report, monitored in Kaduna, they were among hundreds fleeing Libya as fighters of the Transition National Council (TNC) closed in on one of Gaddafi’s strongholds, Bani Walid.
The report came in the light of hot pursuit by French Special Forces foreign legion and their British counterpart.
It added that some members of the old Libyan regime were heading towards Burkina-Faso.
According to the radio report, the crossover to Nigeria reportedly happened on Thursday, when a convoy of trucks slipped and headed towards the North-West town of Katsina.
There has been series of security co-coordinating conferences between Nigeria and Niger on how to fashion out containment strategy of the Libyan crisis.
This, however, came on fast heels, particularly the new wave of trans-border crossing by prominent Gaddafi loyalists, including General Houssa Daw, the head of his presidential unit.
The report said some members of the Libyan military had maintained close family ties with Northern Nigeria, citing Gen. Youssef Dbiri, who headed Gaddafi’s security service and has his maternal root in Nguru, Yobe State from North-Eastern Nigeria.
It stated, “According to security service sources in Niger Republic, the fragile ceasefire between the Toureg rebels and Niamey will be tested in the coming weeks if attempts are made to give outright support to Special Forces from France, UK, USA and Jordan in the Gaddafi hunt.”
It stated, “Another fear is the solidarity and sympathy which the fleeing Gaddafi supporters might get from Southern Niger, in the Maradi-Damagaran axis, and the outer fringes of Northern Nigeria where al-Qaeda affiliated Boko Haram is lately seen as a potent forces.”
The radio quoted its sources as saying that more than 200 Nigerians were arrested in Libya by the TNC, while about 20 were executed last week for allegations of supporting Gaddafi as mercenaries.
When contacted, spokesperson of the Joint Military Task Force (JTF), Col. Hassan Mohammed, however, faulted the report, stating that sector commanders at all points of entry into Borno State had been put on red alert and frisk thoroughly anyone entering the country.
He said that if such entry had taken place, the commander would have contacted the JTF Headquarters and arrest the illegal migrants.
He said Nigerians should not entertain any fear over the report.
Also, contacted, the Police Public Relations Officer in Katsina, Mr Ibrahim Mohammed, said he was not aware of the presence of Ghaddafi’s men in the state.
Meanwhile, the Interpol has issued arrest warrants for Gaddafi, his son Saif al-Islam, and intelligence chief Abdullah al-Senussi.
It said in a statement, on Friday, that the International Criminal Court (ICC) prosecutor had made the request to the Lyon-based police organisation on Thursday.
“As far as Interpol’s general secretariat headquarters is concerned, Gaddafi is a fugitive whose country of nationality and the ICC want arrested and held accountable for the serious criminal charges that have been brought against him,” said Interpol Secretary General Ronald Noble.
Some senior Gaddafi loyalists are among a new group that had fled to Niger, security sources there said on Friday.
This came a day before a deadline expires for the surrender of some of the deposed leader’s remaining strongholds in Libya.
Gaddafi himself declared in an audio broadcast on Thursday that he was still in Libya, cursing as rats and stray dogs his NATO-backed opponents who are now trying to run the large, oil-producing North African country.Share