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ORIGINAL FRENCH ARTICLE: http://www.humanite.fr/monde/lalger...

Algeria has welcomed the Gaddafi family “for humanitarian reasons”

Translated Friday 30 September 2011, by Emily Drummond and reviewed by Emily Drummond

No, Algeria does not support Muammar Gaddafi and this Tuesday, in order to put a stop to statements like this and to defuse tension with the Libyan rebels, Algeria explained why it opened its borders “for humanitarian reasons” to several of the dictator-on-the-run’s family members.

The foreign secretary told of how Gaddafi’s three children (Aicha, and her brothers Hannibal and Mohammed), along with Safia (his second wife) entered Algeria on Monday morning. Aicha gave birth to a daughter in the south-east of the country. She was named Safia after her paternal grandmother, who was by her side, reliable sources told Ennahar. The daily Arabic-speaking newspaper added that they had crossed the Algerian border by the far south border post of Tinkarine from where they were transported by plane to Djanet, more than 400km to the north-west, where Aicha was admitted to hospital.

The National Transitional Council (CNT in French) in Libya has also reacted to the news. “We ask every country to understand that saving the Gaddafi family is an act we neither welcome nor understand. We would like these people to return, we guarantee them a fair trial,” declared a spokesperson for the rebel government, Mahmoud Chammam.

Gaddafi still at the helm. Considering that Muammar Gaddafi has retained the power to command the troops who remain loyal to him, NATO warned this Tuesday that it would continue its bombings in Libya until the civilian population was completely safe. According to the Canadian Colonel, Roland Lavoie, the spokesman for the operation “Unified Protector” in Libya, the Libyan leader-on-the-run retains the power to “command and control the troops, their movements and the movement of arms as well as their deployment, including the firing of ground-to-ground missiles.” At the same time, Colonel Lavoie maintained that NATO has no information as to Gaddafi’s whereabouts. For the time being the Atlantic alliance has confirmed that at the present moment it is concentrating its interventions on Muammar Gaddafi’s hometown, Sirte (East), one of the last strongholds of the regime.

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