UPDATE 18 March 2012: As France and the UK chime in to compete with Libya for a piece of him, Senussi is reportedly taken ill with – take your pick – high blood pressure, heart attack, the effects of cancer medication. Pictured here looking absolutely fine and enjoying coffee, a cigar and a plate of noticeably high quality and most likely imported (because I know for example they don’t grow apples) fruit that you won’t find in the market in Nouakchott.
You won’t find food of that quality in many places in Mauritania, where the Red Cross, Oxfam, WFP, UN etc etc are all rattling their respective collecting tins to raise money for millions of drought-afflicted people across the entire Sahel region. I suspect that most of their drive is because the Ivory Coast famine was announced as “cured” and al-Shabab have kicked them out of Somalia. It seems aid agencies are as entrenched in their chosen career as any banker, and don’t intend to pursue goals that would eradicate their sources of income along with their raison d’être.
Colonel Muammar Gaddafi’s former head of Libyan intelligence, Abdullah al-Senussi, has been arrested in Mauritania, triggering what could be a three-way race for his extradition.
France are also seeking his extradition to face justice in their courts over his alleged role in the 1989 bombing of an airliner over Niger in which 54 French nationals died.
Al-Senussi, who was the last key figure of Gaddafi’s regime still at large after fleeing advancing Libyan rebels in the second half of last year, was arrested this morning at the airport in the capital Nouakchott after arriving from the Moroccan city of Casablanca.
President Nicolas Sarkozy’s office said France helped in the arrest and that it would send an arrest warrant to Mauritania ‘in the next few hours’.
However, a spokesman for the ICC, based in the Netherlands, said their arrest warrant for him – on the grounds of murder and persecution – is still valid, while also pointing out that the Libya government were in touch with Mauritania and had given their word for a fair trial.
As well as atrocities in the Arab Spring uprising, Senussi is also suspected of a key role in the killing of more than 1,200 inmates at Tripoli’s Abu Salim prison in 1996.
Clinton, Al-Othmani discuss regional, global issues
WASHINGTON, March 15 (KUNA) — U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Moroccan Foreign Minister Saad Eddine Al-Othmani discussed economic, regional and global issues during their meeting on Thursday.
In remarks prior to the meeting, Clinton described the U.S.-Morocco relationship as strong and durable.
“Today the minister and I will continue our discussion as to how we can work together even more on strengthening the Moroccan economy, on expanding our cooperation, on security, on other important issues, as well as discussing regional and global matters,” Clinton said. “Morocco has shown great leadership at the United Nations Security Council”.
Al-Othmani said his government was “keen for Morocco to play its role at the regional and international level in the coming period”.
Morocco is interested in developing political and economic relations with the United States “and, as a non-permanent member of the Security Council, we will do our utmost best to ensure that peace and security prevail not just in North Africa, but in the region and the world as a whole,” he added.
Obligatory Syria and Qatar connection…
Clinton’s Pincer Movement from Qatar to Morocco
“I don’t understand anything,” interjected a Moroccan man in resignation Sunday, Feb. 26, as thousands marched in the main boulevards of Casablanca in a carefully hemmed protest, hoisting ample supplies of unflattering slogans and banners against Bashar Al Assad’s regime in Syria.
So, what’s going on in the region that is causing many to forfeit faith in their judgment?
How do we disentangle the skein of occurrences, such as the march against Bashar Al Assad in Casablanca, the presence of Hilary Clinton in Rabat, the fast deteriorating security situation in Syria, the “Friends of Syria Summit” in Tunis, the huge new US embassy compound in Rabat, and the sputtering Al Jazeera, which to this day has failed to inform with regard to the Syrian issue, let alone make the case for a “just” war?
Even in the mind-stretching atmosphere of the post Arab Spring, and notwithstanding the presence of few Syrian émigrés in Morocco, the sight of twenty thousand North Africans shouting “Irhal” (go away) in the face of President Assad is by any reasonable account a piece of implausible political extravagance. True, relayed gavel-to-gavel by Aljazeera and Al Arabiya, the bloody images from Baba Amr, Homs, and other Syrian localities have reached Moroccan hearts; as they have undoubtedly the conscience of millions around the world. But it is the other sounds and sights from the region which are confounding ordinary citizens as well as the radar of the most tested political traffic watcher of the Middle East. (more..)
- The Associated Press: Mauritania arrests top Libyan sought by ICC (worldwright.wordpress.com)
- Sarkozy: I did not take Gaddafi cash (independent.co.uk)
- #Mauritania says #Israel spy ring uncovered @SuperPolisario… (lissnup.wordpress.com)