Libyan diplomats in Namibia defect

(Namibian)IN a short and terse statement, Libyan Ambassador Salem Mohamed Krayem and members of the Libyan embassy in Windhoek yesterday declared their loyalty to the revolution of February 17 and the Temporary National Transitional Council as the only representative of the Libyan people.

The faxed statement to The Namibian was ended with a mere ‘kind regards, Embassy of Libya’.
Ambassador Krayem is understood to be in Libya as Nato and rebel forces are making their unprecedented last push for Libyan capital Tripoli, the last bastion of long-serving leader Colonel Muammar Gaddafi.
Namibian Foreign Affairs Permanent Secretary Ambassador Veiccho Nghiwete would not comment on the latest developments.
“We will follow the developments as they are unfolding,” is all Nghiwete was prepared to say, but he did add that the Libyan Embassy in Windhoek had informed the foreign ministry of its position.
In early March, Namibian-based Libyan diplomat Saad Bakar defected from the embassy when he and his family left for what was then just known to be a Mediterranean destination.
In March, shortly after the uprising started in Libya, National Assembly Speaker Theo-Ben Gurirab said that Namibia’s relationship with Libya would remain unchanged despite the violent reprisals against pro-democracy protesters.
Gurirab, who is also the president of the Inter-Parliamentary Union said the bilateral relationships are between nations, and not governments.
During the six-month-long civil war that erupted in Libya, the Namibian Government’s position was in line with that of the Peace and Security Council of the African Union, which has repeatedly called for an immediate cessation of all hostilities in Libya.
The AU Peace and Security Council has also called for the cooperation of ‘competent’ Libyan authorities to allow for the delivery of humanitarian aid to needy population.
The Namibian Government has condemned the Nato attacks on the Gaddafi regime, criticising the Western attacks as having taken place under the cover of the United Nations Security Council Resolution 1973.
Government at the time said the attacks demonstrated “utter contempt for and flagrant disregard” of the AU decision in which it reaffirmed its commitment for the respect of the unity and territorial integrity of Libya.
Swapo Party Youth League secretary Elijah Ngurare also added his condemnation of the Western military attacks, and warned against what he considered the misuse of the youth in the anti-Gaddafi demonstrations.
“The West is not necessarily interested in democracy, but its own interest, which is primarily oil,” Ngurare said at the time.
Yesterday, while shots were still fired in the capital, celebrations on its streets from rebels and civilians were broadcast worldwide.
On Sunday Gaddafi rallied his loyalists to defend Tripoli against the combined onslaught, but by yesterday afternoon, his whereabouts were unknown with rumours that he was flown out of Libya to an undisclosed destination.
The rebels have claimed to have taken custody of three of Gaddafi’s sons, and that they have taken control of much of Tripoli.
The European Union has in the meantime said that it is ready to help Libya’s interim administration in its reforms.
“The relentless efforts of the forces of the new Libya, supported militarily by Nato and several EU member states, and countries from the region are bringing the Gaddafi regime to its end,” said EU President Herman van Rompuy and head of the EU executive commission Jose Manuel Barroso in  a joint statement.
British Prime Minister David Cameron declared that Libyan assets frozen in Britain would soon be released to help the country’s rebels establish order.


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