Conflict & Justice

Several Gaddafi family members are in Algeria


Libyan strongman Muammar Gaddafi gestures as he arrives at the Rixos hotel in the capital Tripoli on March 8, 2011.


Mahmud Turkia

Muammar al-Gaddafi's wife, three of his children and some of his grandchildren are apparently in Algeria.

Algeria's state news agency reported on Monday, citing the Foreign Ministry, that Gaddafi's wife Safia, his daughter Aisha and two of his sons, Hannibal and Mohamed, along with their children, made it into the country via its border with Libya.

Mourad Benmehidi, the Algerian ambassador to the United Nations, told CNN he informed Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon of the development early on Monday.

The Libyan rebels' National Transitional Council has not confirmed the news, spokesman Mahmoud al-Shammam told CNN. But according to Shammam, if the news is true the council will demand the return of the Gaddafis with the promise of a fair trial. 

Sources told CNN that Aisha is pregnant and due to give birth in early September. Until recently, Aisha served as a goodwill ambassador for the U.N. Development Program.

Hannibal Gadhafi is known for reportedly spending millions of dollars on private parties featuring performances by A-list stars like Beyonce, Mariah Carey and Usher, and for being accused of several violent episodes in Europe.

Bloomberg reports that Algeria has maintained a policy of "strict neutrality” during the upheaval in Libya. Foreign Minister Amar Belan said in a statement published on the ministry website on Saturday that his country has no intention to “interfere in any manner whatsoever in the internal affairs” of Libya.

Meanwhile, the whereabouts of Gaddafi himself remain unknown. On Monday, the chief of the National Transitional Council, Mostafa Abdel Jalil, urged NATO and other allies to continue supporting the rebels against the "tyrant.

"Gaddafi's defiance of the coalition forces still poses a danger, not only for Libya, but for the world. That is why we are calling for the coalition to continue its support," Jalil said at a meeting in Doha with senior military figures from countries involved in the war, according to the BBC.

The New York Times reports that rebel forces in Libya are approaching Surt, Gaddafi's hometown and what's seen as one of the strongman's last bastion's of support.

In Tripoli, the transitional council was working to restore running water, electrical power and fuel, along with getting medical supplies to hospitals, "tasks rebel leaders acknowledge will help make or break the legitimacy of their new government."