One of Muammar Gaddafi's sons and three generals are among the 32 members of the ousted leader's inner circle to have arrived in Niger since September 2, Niger's Prime Minister Brigi Rafini (pictured) said Monday.
AFP - Thirty-two members of fugitive former Libyan leader Moamer Kadhafi's inner circle, including his son Saadi, have arrived in Niger since September 2, Niger's prime minister said on Monday.
"A total of 32 people are now here, including one of (Kadhafi's) sons, Saadi, as well as three generals," Brigi Rafini said during a meeting with foreign diplomats in Niamey.
The arrivals had crossed the border in four separate groups over the last 10 days and had been taken in by Niger for "humanitarian reasons", the prime minister added.
The most recent arrivals included Saadi and eight other close associates of Kadhafi senior, added Rafini in comments carried out by public radio.
Other sources told AFP earlier Monday that Saadi "still hasn't reached (the northern regional capital) Agadez and is somewhere in the desert".
Moamer Kadhafi, his most prominent son Seif al-Islam and his intelligence chief Abdullah al-Senussi are all wanted by the International Criminal Court for alleged crimes against humanity.
But Rafini said none of those known to have crossed over the border were being sought by the Hague-based war crimes court.
"As far as we are aware, none of the 32 in Niger are being sought on an arrest warrant or being pursued by internatonal justice," he said.
The three generals include Al-Rifi Ali al-Sharif, Kadhafi's air force chief, his bodyguard Ali Khana, who was also chief of the forces in Awbari in southern Libya, and another regional military commander from the south, Niger officials have said.
Rafini voiced serious concern over the effects the Libyan conflict would have on his country -- already grappling with unrest linked to Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM).
AQIM, which emerged out of an Algerian radical group, has several bases in Mali from where it launches operations in the Sahel desert region, carrying out attacks, kidnapping foreigners and trafficking drugs.
"All the arms depots in (Libya) have been opened, many people have helped themselves and many weapons have gone from Libya to neighbouring countries for ends that are certainly not peaceful," Rafini said.
Date created : 2011-09-12