Wednesday 31 August 2011

Gaddafi's alluring daughter Aisha Gaddafi gives birth

Muammar Gaddafi's daughter Aisha has given birth to a girl in an Algerian hospital

Aisha Gaddafi Libya
This photo, found in a family album at Muammar Gaddafi's former
headquarters in Tripoli, shows daughter Aisha hugging an unidentified
guest on her wedding day. Source: AFP

Muammar Gaddafi's daughter has given birth to a girl in Algeria, as Algiers said it decided to grant safe haven to the ousted Libyan leader's wife and three children for "strictly humanitarian reasons."

 "Aisha gave birth very early this morning. She had a little girl. Mother and daughter are doing fine," said a government official, who spoke on condition of anonymity.
Earlier, foreign ministry spokesman Amar Belani insisted that Aisha, her brother Hannibal, their mother Safiya, Gaddafi's second wife, and the fugitive leader's eldest son Mohammed were allowed into the country "for strictly humanitarian reasons."

Libya's rebel National Transitional Council criticised the announcement from Algeria, which has not recognised the NTC as Libya's new authority, amid speculation that it backed Gaddafi throughout the months-long conflict and is troubled by his downfall.

The family was placed under house arrest in the desert town, the newspaper said.

"We have informed the Secretary General of the United Nations, the president of the (UN) Security Council and the president of the executive council of the NTC," Belani said in an e-mail to AFP.

He was commenting on a request issued by the NTC for the return of the Gaddafi family members. The NTC said it has not had direct contact with Algeria about the issue."We hope that the Algerian government... will work with us to arrest this corrupt family that has been oppressing the Libyan people as well as stealing their resources for the past 42 years," deputy chairman of the NTC executive committee Ali Tarhuni said in Tripoli on Tuesday.

NTC spokesman Mahmud Shammam has criticised Algeria for giving the Gaddafi relatives a "pass." "Saving Gaddafi's family is not an act we welcome and understand," he told a press conference in Tripoli late Monday.

Algeria stands apart from other north African nations like Egypt, Morocco and Tunisia which have recognised the NTC as the legitimate representative of the Libyan people, leading some among the rebels to accuse Algiers of supporting the Gaddafi regime.

Algiers is concerned about the "very present Islamist dimension" at the heart of the NTC," explained Kader Abderrahim, a professor and Islam expert at the University of California.
Traumatised by the civil war which ended in 2002 with some 200,000 dead, Algiers has for months been on the alert for a spillover of violence from Libya with which it shares a 1,000-kilometre border.

With Gaddafi's whereabouts still a mystery, there has been speculation that he is hiding out among tribal supporters in his birthplace, the coastal town of Sirte.

Rebels say they are negotiating with civic and tribal leaders for Sirte's peaceful surrender.
Algeria has "since February been accused of supplying military aid to Gaddafi, particularly by providing planes to transport mercenaries," said Didier Le Saout, a North African expert at Paris University. "Algeria will be the state in the region with the worst relations with the new Libyan authorities."

But NTC leader Tarhuni downplayed tension between the neighbouring states. "What I would like to allude to is that the Algerian people are our brothers. Great historic relations connect us. We hope for and welcome any positive initiative from the Algerian government," he said.

Mourad Benmehidi, Algeria's ambassador to the UN, told the New York Times that the spouses of Gaddafi's two sons and daughter have also crossed into Algeria, with several of their children.

Algeria has also closed its borders with Libya in the far south, El Watan newspaper reported on its website, quoting Algerian officials. Algiers, according to the report, wants to block Gaddafi loyalist fighters from fleeing into Algeria to avoid further straining its ties with the NTC.

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