Former PM: “Qaddafi Will Fight to the End”
Muammar al-Qaddafi’s former prime minister Al-Baghdadi Ali al-Mahmoudi, who is now in prison in Tunisia, told Reuters on Tuesday that he believed that the former president of Libya is still in the country and he would fight to the death along the people that still support him.
He added that, based on his knowledge of the former leader, Qaddafi would not give up, nor would he lay down his weapons until the end.
Al-Mahmoudi was Qaddafi’s Prime Minister since 2006. As the civil war was reaching its peak in Libya, he was giving television briefings to foreign reporters, in which he was assuring them that the leader would not give up fighting. He was also condemning the attacks led by NATO against his country.
After the regime collapsed, he sought refuge in Tunisia, but the Tunisian authorities apprehended him and so he was sentenced to six months in jail for illegally entering their country. The sentence was overturned on appeal.
Still, he was kept in prison 30 km outside the Tunisian capital pending an extradition request made by the National Transitional Council. He told the press that he was ready to cooperate as long as the NTC dropped the extradition request and the negative campaign against him. “A hope to be part of the solution in Libya, not part of the problem.”
Al-Mahmoudi is not on the list of the most wanted persons of the former regime, and he is not sought by the International Criminal Court. In his opinion, the former prime minister has never done anything against the Libyan people. He even added that he was hated by the entourage of the former president.
He called on the French officials to testify in his favor that during the civil war he was the one that supplied food for the people in Libya.
After he left country, he said, the chairman of the National Transitional Council Mustafa Abdel Jalil telephoned him and told him to keep a low profile until things were stabilized in the country.
He lashed out at Tunisian authorities saying that it was a shame the way the Tunisian authorities behaved toward him, adding that it was him who opened the borders with Tunisia after Qaddafi demanded that they be shut.
The whereabouts of Muammar al-Qaddafi remain unknown, which prompts the leaders of the NTC to say that the peace in the country will only be completely installed after he has been captured and brought to justice.
NTC has launched a “final assault” on Sirte, Qaddafi’s hometown, hoping to eliminate the last resistance spot of his regime. It is believed by the NTC that the city is being taken by a gang of mercenaries and killers led by Mutassin Qaddafi, one of the dictator’s sons.
The new leadership of Libya plans to install a transitional government and begin reforms and preparation for democratic elections only after the city of Sirte has been captured.
Qaddafi appeared on various occasions in audio recordings in which he said that he would fight to the death against those who have invaded his country. It has been some time however since he does not broadcast these audio recordings anymore.11