“We have strongly urged the Nigerien officials to detain those members of the regime who may be subject to prosecution, to ensure that they confiscate any weapons that are found and to ensure that any state property of the government of Libya — money, jewels, et cetera — also be impounded so that it can be returned to the Libyan people.”
“Our understanding is that they are going to take appropriate measures,” Nuland said, and work with the rebel council in Libya “on what is to be done with both the people and the property.”
Nuland said the administration has made similar overtures to “all of the neighboring states . . . about their U.N. Security Council obligations, and those conversations will continue.” Gaddafi’s second wife, his daughter and son, and numerous other family members fled last week to Algeria, whose government has said they were admitted for “humanitarian reasons.”
Burkina Faso, like Niger a recipient of Libyan aid over the years, has said it will grant asylum to Gaddafi and members of his family. On Tuesday, however, the Foreign Ministry in Ouagadougou, the capital, said it had received no request for exile from Gaddafi and he was not expected there. Burkina Faso has recognized the Transitional National Council as Libya’s official government.
The convoy crossed the border as negotiations broke down over Bani Walid, where the rebels have given a one-week extension to loyalist forces to surrender or face attack. Late Tuesday, however, an al-Jazeera correspondent outside the town reported that talks had collapsed, rebel negotiators had been fired upon and an attack was imminent.
As the hunt for Gaddafi continued, his die-hard supporters remained defiant Tuesday. “We are fighting and resisting for the sake of Libya and all Arabs,” Moussa Ibrahim, Gaddafi’s spokesman and the public face of his government, told the Syria-based al-Rai television station, a pro-Gaddafi channel. “We are still strong and capable of turning the tables on NATO.”
To counter reports that Gaddafi was planning to flee, Ibrahim told al-Rai that the longtime ruler was in “excellent health, planning and organizing for the defense of Libya.”
After he spoke, a video was posted on rebel Facebook pages of fighters who have detained Gaddafi’s deputy foreign minister, Khaled Kaim. The video showed Kaim sitting on a bed, being interrogated by rebels who called him a “liar” and a “dog” and accused him of using foreign mercenaries against them.
Fadel reported from Tripoli.