Gadhafi’s Children Likely Violated UN Travel Ban
UNITED NATIONS—A son and daughter of former Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi moved from Algeria to Oman in apparent violation of a U.N. travel ban, the committee monitoring U.N. sanctions against Libya said Tuesday.
Rwanda’s U.N. Ambassador Eugene Richard Gasana, who chairs the committee, told the Security Council that Algeria’s U.N. Mission confirmed on June 5 that Aisha Gadhafi and Mohammed Gadhafi had relocated to Oman along with other family members.
Aisha Gadhafi, a lawyer in her mid-30s, and Mohammed Gadhafi, in his early 40s, have been on the U.N. sanctions blacklist since early 2011, subject to an asset freeze and travel ban. Both fled to Algeria after Gadhafi was ousted later that year.
Gasana said the sanctions committee has directed its panel of experts to investigate their move to Oman, which was not authorized by the U.N. under its exemption procedures.
Britain’s U.N. Ambassador Mark Lyall Grant, the current Security Council president, said an interim report from the panel of experts is expected next month addressing the issue of the two Gadhafi children’s travels.
Libya’s Foreign Minister Mohamed Abdelaziz told reporters in Doha, Qatar in late March that Oman had granted asylum to Gadhafi’s widow, Safiya, and other family members.
Aisha Gadhafi helped in the defense of Saddam Hussein, Iraq’s toppled dictator, in the trial that led to his hanging. She had been a goodwill ambassador for the U.N. Development Program, but the U.N. ended its agreement with her as Moammar Gadhafi cracked down on anti-government protesters. She gave birth on the border as the family members fled to Algeria. While in Algeria, she spoke several times to Arab media and denounced Libya’s new government. In November, she called on Libyans in an interview with a Syrian TV station to overthrow their new rulers.
Mohammed Gadhafi is the only child of Gadhafi and his first wife, Fatiha. He was Libya’s Olympic chief and was involved in the country’s telecommunications industry. The rebels reported capturing him after they moved into Tripoli, but soon after they said he had escaped from house arrest.
Their brother, Seif al-Islam, the first child by Gadhafi’s marriage to second wife Safiya, was the only sibling captured. Once the face of reform in Libya, he led his father’s drive to emerge from pariah status and was considered his heir apparent. Revolutionary forces found him deep in Libya’s southern desert a month after his father was killed in October 2011 and took him to the mountain city of Zintan, where he remains in their custody.
The Netherlands-based International Criminal Court has charged Seif al-Islam Gadhafi with crimes against humanity. Libyan authorities are appealing the international court’s right to try him, saying that he should face justice at home, but the court says Tripoli cannot give him a fair trial.