RABAT: Gaddafi ‘Is Nearing His End’ Says Exiled Libyan Prince: UPDATED

22 Feb

Muammar Gaddafi‘s violent struggle to remain in power will not last long, said the exiled crown prince of Libya, whose family he toppled in a 1969 coup.

Libya's Gaddafi: 'I Will Die A Martyr' ...

Prince Muhammad as-Senussi, whose father, the former crown prince, and great-uncle King Idris were overthrown amid a series of revolts in the Arab world, said Libyans protesting against the leader’s long rule would be “victorious in the end.”

Gaddafi said Tuesday he would not step down despite a nationwide revolt against his rule, vowing to die in Libya as a martyr.

“His fight to stay in power will not last long, because of the desire for freedom by the Libyan people. This great popular revolution will be victorious in the end, because of the unity of the Libyan people,” 48-year-old Senussi said in a statement from his home in London.

“The Libyan people have now chosen to challenge this regime peacefully until it is gone from Libya, and the people will not return to their homes until justice is delivered.”

After being overthrown by Gaddafi in 1969, the royal family was held under house arrest for a period. In 1988, they emigrated to Britain.

“The Libyan people have raised their voices in Benghazi and Tripoli and all other cities across Libya. They have made the whole world listen to them,” Senussi said.

He called on the international community to help stop the violence. “I ask especially those countries which have previously worked with the Gaddafi regime to exert pressure to stop the bloodshed in Libya,” he said. “I also ask them to halt all support for the dictator with immediate effect.”

(Editing by Mark Trevelyan)

NEWS UPDATE:

LONDON:  The Foreign Office has been organising the evacuation of British nationals from Libya after Colonel Muammar Gaddafi vowed to fight to his “last drop of blood”.

Britons being evacuated from Libya Enlarge photo

The Libyan dictator sparked fears that violent reprisals against protesters could escalate still further as he called on his supporters to take to the streets and “attack them in their lairs”.

In a defiant and rambling address on state television, he promised to die a martyr rather than leave the country he has ruled for 41 years.

With no sign of an end to the bloody clashes, Foreign Secretary William Hague said he was stepping up efforts to help British citizens leave the country. He is seeking landing clearance for a charter flight to arrive within the next 48 hours and a Royal Navy frigate is being re-deployed to waters near Libya.

Mr Hague said: “The safety of British nationals in Libya is of paramount concern to us. In light of the fluid and dangerous situation, we are urgently reinforcing our team on the ground with specialist personnel to provide help and assistance to British nationals.

“Already this week British nationals seeking to leave Libya have encountered significant difficulties. Many are currently in Tripoli airport without immediate flights out of the country following flight cancellations, closures of airspace and so on.”

Mr Hague said that, as well as working with airlines to help as many British nationals leave as possible, the Foreign Office was sending a charter plane to Libya in the next 48 hours.

“We are urgently seeking landing clearances and permissions from the Libyan government,” the Foreign Secretary added.

HMS Cumberland is also being redeployed from the eastern Mediterranean to international waters near Libya, he said, so that it is in a position to “play a role in assisting British nationals”.

Some British Embassy staff and families who are not needed to deal with the current situation in Libya are leaving while Foreign Office personnel trained in crisis response are being sent out.

Reaction to Gaddafi’s speech

Quotes from Gaddafi’s television address

Libya: ‘Gaddafi Set To Devolve Power’

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One Response to “RABAT: Gaddafi ‘Is Nearing His End’ Says Exiled Libyan Prince: UPDATED”

  1. NBNoG 1FebruaryJ2011 at 8:34 am #

    To Libya:
    No Dog is a Martyr;
    No “leader” needs foreign troops

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