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22 February 2024

Gaddafi’s son promises to return to Libya


Saadi Gaddafi, one of the sons of Libya's former leader Muammar Gaddafi, has promised to return to his country where he said a nationwide rebellion was brewing against its new rulers.

"I will return to Libya at any time," Saadi Gaddafi told Al-Arabiya television by telephone from Niger where he took refuge after the fall of Tripoli which ended his father's 42-year iron-fisted rule.

"Seventy percent of Libyans are not satisfied with the current situation," he said in an interview Friday, adding that "the Libyan people are ruled by gangs."

Gaddafi said that "there is a rebellion that is going on day after day, and there will be a rebellion in the entire country."

Asked about the ruling National Transitional Council, which took over the country after the fall of the regime last year, Gaddafi said: "There will come a day when the Libyan people will be capable of wiping out these gangs." When he returned, "I will try to make sure that there are no reprisals or revenge operations," he promised.

The uprising that ousted Muammar Gaddafi erupted on February 17, 2011 in the eastern city of Benghazi and later spread across the entire country.

The bloody conflict ended with the capturing and killing of the former Libyan leader in a fierce battle in his hometown of Sirte on October 20.

Saadi, 38, took refuge in Niger last August. The African country has refused to extradite him despite repeated requests from the new Libyan authorities.

They accuse him of having "taken goods by force and intimidation when he led the Libyan football federation" according to international police federation Interpol, which issued a "red notice" for his arrest.

Niger's President Mahamadou Issoufou said on November 11 his country had granted political asylum to Saadi Gaddafi on "humanitarian grounds."