Monday, September 12, 2011

Libya: Gaddafi Forces Cross Over to the North

The Moment (London)
10 September 2011

Kaduna — SOME members of the ousted regime of Libya's Colonel Muammar Gaddafi have crossed over to some parts of Northern Nigeria, according to reports by Hamada Radio International, monitored Friday evening in Kaduna.

According to the radio, the crossover to Nigeria happened last night when convoy of trucks slipped and headed towards the north western town of Katsina.

Nigerian security officials, however, denied knowledge of the development, sparking fears that the country may be unprepared for the security threat posed by the collapse of the old Libyan regime.

The radio reported that the development was coming as a result of a hot chase of the old regime's loyalists by French and British Special Forces.

The report also said that some members of the old Libyan regime were heading towards Burkina-Faso.

The radio said that its sources had disclosed that more than 200 Nigerians were arrested in Libya by the Transitional National Council (TNC), while about 20 were executed last week for allegations of supporting Gaddafi as mercenaries.

Operating on 119KHZ, Hamada Radio International is an Hausa language station broadcasting to Nigeria and Niger, transmitted from Wertachtal, Bayern, Germany.

When contacted on phone for comment on the development, the spokesperson in the State Security Services (SSS) Mrs Merlyn Ogar said the service was not aware of Gaddafi's troops presence in the country. ' I am hearing this from you for the first time, so I cannot comment on what we have not confirmed,' she said.

Speaking in the same vein, the Force Public Relations Officer, Mr. Olusola Amore, also denied knowledge of Gaddafi's troop's presence in the country, adding, 'I am not aware of it. Where there is a challenge, we will know how to deal with it. I wouldn't tell you what we would do about it, especially now that we don't have information about it', Amore said.

Efforts to get the Presidency's comment proved abortive, as none of the phone calls placed across to Aso-Rock was answered. Among the persons called include the President's spokesman, Dr. Reuben Abati, and the Senior Special Assistant (SSA) on Media to the Vice President, Alhaji Umar Sani.

Series of security co-coordinating conferences between Nigeria and Niger on how to fashion out containment strategy of the Libyan crisis have been held.

This, however, came on fast heels, particularly the new wave of trans-border crossing by prominent Gaddafi loyalists, including Gen. Houssa Daw, the head of his presidential unit.

According to the report, some members of the Libyan military have maintained close family ties with Northern Nigeria, citing Gen. Youssef Dbiri, who headed Gaddafi's security service and had his maternal root in Nguru, Yobe State, North-Eastern Nigeria.

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