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Libya - Niger

Kadhafi slams reports of Niger flight

Reuters/Youssef Boudlal
3 min

Moamer Kadhafi has slammed reports that he has fled to Niger. Libya’s former leader told a Syrian TV station the claims are “psychological warfare and lies swore that his Nato-backed opponents will be defeated.

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"They have nothing else to resort to apart from psychological warfare and lies," told Damascus-based Arrai Oruba television by telephone. "They want to weaken our morale. Do not waste time on this weak and ignoble enemy."

RFI/Latifa Mouaoued

He went on to predict that Nato, which has carried out air-raids on Libya since March, "will be defeated" as its "logistical capacities will not allow it" to continue its campaign.

"We are ready in Tripoli and everywhere to intensify attacks against the rats, the mercenaries, who are a pack of dogs," he said.

Libya’s oil exports will not return to pre-war levels of 1.6 million barrels per day until 2013 or beyond, the International Energy Agency chief Maria van Hoeven predicted today.

Niger has denied reports that Kadhafi was in a convoy that entered its territory on Sunday, while declaring it impossible to prevent people crossing its border with Libya.

Foreign Minister Mohammed Bazoum, who was attending a Sahel conference in Algiers, said neither Kadhafi nor any other wanted fugitives had arrived in his country.

Kadhafi, Bazoum said, could cross into Niger but "to go where? It doesn't make sense", adding that, if Kadhafi has "to roam, he would roam around Libya, not across Africa."

THE BATTLE FOR LIBYA

The US State Department confirmed that no-one in the convoy appeared to be on a list of people subject to UN sanctions.

"Our understanding is that the convoy included some military and senior officials under Kadhafi's former regime," spokesperson Victoria Nuland said. "They are now being held in the capital [...] and they are being monitored closely by Nigerien officials."

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