Niger sees end to restrictions on refugee Gaddafi

Niger said the end of the Libyan conflict would allow it to lift restrictions on senior Gaddafi loyalists who sought refuge there.

Paris: Niger said on Friday the end of the
Libyan conflict would allow it to lift restrictions on senior
Gaddafi loyalists who sought refuge there, except for deceased
leader Muammar Gaddafi`s son Saadi.

"If the war were to finish, there`s no reason for us to
maintain our measures against these people," Foreign Minister
Mohamed Bazoum said the day after Gaddafi`s killing
heralded an end to the eight-month conflict.

"It`s good for the National Transitional Council (NTC) no
longer to be distracted by the fact that Gaddafi is alive. Now
that he`s dead, they can concentrate on creating a new
democratic Libya."

In September 32 people close to the defeated Libyan
regime fled to Niger where they were received "for
humanitarian reasons."

Among them were three of Gaddafi`s generals, and all have
been kept under the watchful eye of Niger authorities since
then, Niamey has said, without saying they were in detention.

"Of the 32 people who are in Niger, only one has a clear
judicial status, Mr Saadi Gaddafi. He`s the target of a UN
Security Council resolution travel ban. He`s in Niger, we`re
obliged to apply this resolution," Bazoum said.

"We will prevent him travelling," the minister during the
interview on the sidelines of a G20 development meeting in
Paris.

Interpol has also issued an arrest notice for Gaddafi`s
playboy son Saadi, 38, who fled into Libya`s southern
neighbour Niger after revolutionary forces stormed Tripoli and
overthrew his authoritarian father`s 42-year regime.

Saadi is wanted for alleged crimes committed during his
time at the head of the Libyan Football Federation.
"As to the others, no one has ever officially asked us
for anything," Bazoum said, dismissing the notion that the NTC
could ask for their extradition.

"I don`t think they`d ever do that. In any case, we don`t
have anything to indicate that`s what they want to do. I don`t
see what interest there would be for these people to return to
Libya under such circumstances.

"So many Libyans have left their country that the NTC`s
interests today lie in asking everyone to come back
voluntarily so that all energies can be devoted to building
their country," he said.

PTI

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