Qaddafi’s cousin calls Sarkozy charges ‘God’s punishment’

Ahmed Gaddaf Al-Dam, cousin of Libya’s former president Muammar Qaddafi, speaks to The Associated Press, while the news on his television shows Former French President Nicolas Sarkozy in the background, at his apartment in Cairo, Egypt, Mar 22, 2018. (AP)
Updated 22 March 2018
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Qaddafi’s cousin calls Sarkozy charges ‘God’s punishment’

CAIRO: Muammar Qaddafi’s cousin says the corruption allegations against former French President Nicolas Sarkozy are “God’s punishment” for his role in the NATO-backed uprising that toppled and killed the longtime Libyan leader.
Ahmed Gaddaf Al-Dam, a close aide to Qaddafi based in Cairo, told The Associated Press that he was aware of the millions of euros Qaddafi’s government allegedly gave to Sarkozy.
Investigators are examining allegations that Qaddafi’s regime secretly gave Sarkozy 50 million euros ($62 million) for his 2007 presidential campaign. Sarkozy has repeatedly denied any wrongdoing.
As president, Sarkozy put France in the forefront of the NATO-led air campaign in support of Libyan rebels in 2011. Gaddaf Al-Dam says most of the Libyans involved in the money transfers are imprisoned, dead or fearing assassination.


Calm in Hodeidah as observers move in to monitor cease-fire

Sporadic clashes continued until about 3 a.m. on Tuesday, but residents said there was calm after that. (AFP)
Updated 46 min 42 sec ago
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Calm in Hodeidah as observers move in to monitor cease-fire

  • “Both parties said publicly they are abiding by the cease-fire,” a UN official said
  • The truce in Hodeidah officially began at midnight on Monday

JEDDAH: Truce monitoring observers will be deployed in the Red Sea port city of Hodeidah on Wednesday as the first 24 hours of a UN-brokered cease-fire passed without incident.

The Redeployment Coordination Committee comprises members of the Yemeni government supported by the Saudi-led coalition, and Houthi militias backed by Iran, and is overseen by the UN. 

The head of the committee will report to the UN Security Council every week.

Deployment of the observers is the latest stage in a peace deal reached after talks last week in Sweden. Both sides in the conflict agreed to a cease-fire in Hodeidah and the withdrawal of their forces within 21 days.

“Both parties said publicly they are abiding by the cease-fire,” a UN official said on Tuesday.

Local authorities and police will run the city and its three port facilities under UN supervision, and the two sides are barred from bringing in reinforcements.

UN envoy Martin Griffith said the committee was expected to start its work swiftly “to translate the momentum built up in Sweden into achievements on the ground.”

The truce in Hodeidah officially began at midnight on Monday. Sporadic clashes continued until about 3 a.m. on Tuesday, but residents said there was calm after that. 

“We are hopeful that things will go back to the way they were and that there will be no aggression, no airstrikes and lasting security,” said one, Amani Mohammed.

Another resident, Mohammed Al-Saikel, said he was optimistic the cease-fire would pave the way for a broader truce. “We are hopeful about this cease-fire in Hodeidah and one for Yemen in general,” he said. “We will reach out in peace to whoever does the same.”

The UN Security Council is considering a draft resolution that asks Secretary-General Antonio Guterres to submit proposals by the end of the month on how to monitor the cease-fire.

The resolution, submitted by the UK, “calls on all parties to the conflict to take further steps to facilitate the unhindered flow of commercial and humanitarian supplies including food, fuel, medicine and other essential imports and humanitarian personnel into and across the country.”