» 08/22/2011, 00.00
Rebels enter Tripoli, one of Gaddafi’s sons arrested
Rebels meet little resistance in their advance. The whole city is now under their control, except for Gaddafi’s fortified compound. Right after his arrest, Saif al-Islam is charged with crimes against humanity. Another one of Gaddafi’s sons surrenders. The National Transitional Council pledges to restore oil production. NATO secretary-general says, “the regime is clearly crumbling.”
Tripoli (AsiaNews/Agencies) – Groups of Libyan rebels entered the city of Tripoli. According to some reports, they now control the city, except for Gaddafi’s compound. In Green Square, hundreds of people are celebrating the fall of the strongman’s dictatorship. Many more are doing the same in Benghazi. The National Transitional Council (NTC), the provisional rebel authority, has confirmed that Saif al-Islam, one of Gaddafi’s sons, was captured and his case referred to the International Criminal Court where he could be charged with torture and murdering civilians.
Other reports said that another one of Gaddafi’s sons surrendered, but nothing is known of Gaddafi’s fate. Until a few hours ago, Libya’s leader had appealed to the population of Tripoli to rise up against the rebels.
Libyan government spokesman Moussa Ibrahim had said earlier that the Libyan leader was ready to negotiate an immediate ceasefire with NTC Chief Mustafa Abdel Jalil.
The rebels’ entry in the city was quick. It came after months of stalemate, following the start of the civil war seven months ago. Daily NATO bombings downgraded Gaddafi’s military forces.
In a statement, NATO Secretary-General Anders Fogh Rasmussen said the "regime is clearly crumbling."
The NTC announced it was ready to re-establish oil production. Some of the installations were damaged in the war. “We’ve been in talks with Gaz de France, Total, BP, Eni, Qatar Petroleum as well, to help us restore oil production as soon as possible,” an NTC adviser said.
According to the NTC, it will take a week to “clear out” pockets of Qaddafi defenders in the capital.
Some observers believe that thousands of armed pro-Gaddafi loyalists are still in the city. Various reports indicate however that many have already surrendered to the rebels. Others note that fighting is still going on in certain Tripoli neighbourhoods.
Del Boca: “Gaddafi wants to become a martyr and will resist till the end”, others fear total war
Thousands of people loyal to Gaddafi could lose everything with his defeat. The sudden fall of Tripoli was due to growing weariness by the Libyan leader and the population. The country could fall in the hands of unscrupulous characters.
Bounty on Gaddafi, dead or alive
Whoever delivers the Libyan leader is guaranteed amnesty. The NTC has also offered the Colonel safe exit from the country, if he surrenders. The capture or killing of Gaddafi is urgent for release of frozen Libyan government funds: at least 168 billion dollars. The U.S. to ask the UN to release 1.5 million dollars "for humanitarian needs." But South Africa and the African Union cautious. Four Italian journalists kidnapped yesterday in Tripoli. Cautious optimism, but also some fear.
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Moscow counts potential losses in post Gaddafi era
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