Burkina Faso Denies Knowledge of Gaddafi Exit Plans

A source close to the president of Burkina Faso has reported Tuesday that the country was unaware of any Gaddafi plans to flee into the neighboring West African country.

The source told Reuters, “It is not true. We are not aware of this.”

Nevertheless, Burkina Faso is the third country to have offered the strongman leader and his family asylum.

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Algeria and Niger have also opened their doors to the Gaddafi family and last week it was reported that Gaddafi’s daughter, wife, and two of his sons had fled into neighboring Algeria.

All three countries had strong ties to the Gaddafi regime. Burkina has long received aid from Libya, Niger has received military aid and donations from the leader, and Algeria was reportedly Libya’s closest ally in the Maghribi region.

The response of the Burkina Faso source comes on the heels of Tuesday’s report that a large, armed convoy entered into Niger carrying cash, gold, and top Libyan officials. It was believed that the convoy was also carrying Gaddafi. Reports were suggesting that Gaddafi was attempting to cross through Niger to get into Burkina Faso, however, television reports from the region suggested that Gaddafi was not in the convoy.

Gaddafi spokesman, Moussa Ibrahim, told the Syrian-owned Arrai TV that Gaddafi “is in a place that will not be reached by those fractious groups, and he is in Libya.”

He also added that Gaddafi’s son Saif al-Islam was in Libya and moving from place to place to stay safe.

American ambassador to Niger, Bisa Williams, has been working with the government of Niger to urge them to follow international law and return any officials wanted by international prosecutors.

The International Criminal Court issued an arrest warrant for Gaddafi back in June for crimes against humanity. An arrest warrant was also issued for Gaddafi’s son Saif al-Islam, and Libyan intelligence chief Abdullah al-Sanussi.

Williams told the New York Times, “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.”

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