Sep 7, 2011

Paris – Libya’s transitional authorities plan to disarm the rebels who toppled Moamer Gaddafi’s regime by buying back their weapons and inviting them to join the national army, the National Transitional Council’s envoy to Paris, Mansour Saif al-Nasr, said Wednesday.

Libya is awash with weapons, including large amounts of shoulder-fired aircraft missiles snatched from the regime’s stockpiles over the course of the six-month civil war.

Some such missiles have reportedly found their way across the border into Mali, raising fears among neighboring states and Western governments that they could fall into the hands of the Al-Qaeda in Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) terrorist group. AQIM has bases in northern Mali.

‘Once security is established, we will recover all the weapons,’ Al-Nasr told the German Press Agency dpa, saying there was ‘a plan to buy back the arms.’

Already, a commission in Tripoli is registering weapons and issuing the bearers with permits, he said.

For those young fighters who were loathe to disarm, ‘we will offer to them to join the army,’ he said.

The NTC’s first priority however is to convince remaining pockets of Gaddafi loyalists in the towns of Bani Walid, Gaddafi’s hometown of Sirte and the southern town of Sebha to surrender.

The whereabouts of the fugitive strongman himself is unknown.

A military spokesman for the rebels said he was ‘trapped in a 60-kilometre radius area surrounded by forces of the (rebels’) Transitional National Council.’

Al-Nasr would not be drawn on his whereabouts but said he believed he was still in Libya.

NTC leaders Mustafa Abdul Jalil and Mahmoud Jibril would move to Tripoli ‘in the coming days, maybe even this week,’ he said.

Meanwhile, the NTC would demand from Niger that it confiscate and hand over assets siphoned away by fleeing regime members, he said.

Al-Nasr reiterated claims that large sums of cash and gold had been ‘stolen’ from the Central Bank in Tripoli and in Sirte, possibly by regime members that fled to Niger in recent days.

Libya’s neighbor to the south has admitted that Abdullah Mansoor, said to be Gaddafi’s internal security chief and Mansour Daw, a senior army member, are both in Niger. Reports of a convoy of as many as 200 vehicles arriving from Libya Monday have yet to be confirmed.

Al-Nasr said Niger had given assurances that ‘all those who arrive in Niger will be disarmed and placed under surveillance so that they do nothing to disrupt the revolution.

Niger had also assured that any regime members sought by the International Criminal Court would be dealt with ‘according to the conventions in place,’ he said. Niger is a signatory to the treaty that established the ICC.

Source: Monsters and Critics.