U.S. says it’s “reviewing” Algeria’s explanation for admitting Gadhafi’s family
The U.S. State Department Photo By: CNNs Bethany Swain
August 30th, 2011
07:38 PM ET

U.S. says it’s “reviewing” Algeria’s explanation for admitting Gadhafi’s family

By CNN Foreign Affairs Correspondent Jill Dougherty

Faced with the disturbing fact that Muammar Gadhafi’s wife and three children, including some grandchildren, were able to flee over the Libyan border to Algeria in spite of a U.N. travel ban, the U.S. State Department nevertheless is taking a low-key approach.

“There are concerns that this isn’t in keeping with the travel ban restrictions,” State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland told reporters Tuesday but, defending the administration’s response, she said the U.S. is reviewing Algeria’s explanation for why it let the family into the country.

Gadhafi’s two sons who fled, Hannibal and Mohammed, along with his daughter, Aisha, are specifically named in the U.N. travel ban for “closeness of association with regime.”

“We care, in terms of the fact that under UN Security Council Resolution 1970, the Gadhafi family was subject to a travel ban,” Nuland said. “So, they have now traveled. The government of Algeria has now sent a letter to the UN. We are reviewing that letter now in New York but, clearly, there has to be an international community decision and response in regard to the travel ban restrictions that 1970 imposes.”

The Algerian representative to the U.N. said Monday that his government let the Gadhafis into the country on "humanitarian grounds." Aisha Gadhafi gave birth to a daughter at the border. Algeria's Ambassador to the U.N., Mourad Benmehidi, told CNN "The wife of someone who has grievances with the international community is not necessarily subject to the same grievances.”

The U.N. resolution does, in fact, allow exceptions to the travel ban resolution: “Where the Committee determines on a case-by-case basis that such travel is justified on the grounds of humanitarian need, including religious obligation.”

It requires a state to inform the United Nations within 48 hours of any such decision.

“We have said that members of Gadhafi’s family should be held accountable,” the State Department’s Nuland said, but added: “…we need to review the Algerian government explanation, so does the TNC, and we need to see where we go from there.”

Algeria’s decision to accept the family, however, has infuriated the rebel National Transitional Council. The NTC is demanding that Algerian authorities hand the family over to be tried by Libyan courts, calling Algeria’s decision an “act of aggression.”

Rebels who picked through Hannibal Gadhafi’s seaside villa in Libya on Sunday introduced CNN's Dan Rivers to his family's badly burned former nanny, who said she had been doused with boiling water by Hannibal’s wife, model Aline Skaf, when she refused to beat one of their crying toddlers.

The nanny, Shweyga Mullah, is covered with scars from the abuse, which was corroborated by another member of the household staff.

soundoff (14 Responses)
  1. paul

    can somebody explain why NATO is still bombing Lybia? i thought Qaddaffi has fallen?

    September 4, 2011 at 1:35 pm | Reply
    • Zoglet

      More to the point- if NATO are still operating under the mandate to protect civilians- why isnt it destroying the rebels military hardware?

      September 5, 2011 at 5:05 am | Reply
  2. Socrates

    Libyan records reveal Gadhafi-CIA ties
    The CIA worked closely with Moammar Gadhafi's intelligence services in the rendition of terror suspects to Libya for interrogation, according to documents seen Saturday by the Associated Press, co-operation that could spark tensions between Washington and Libya's new rulers.
    I just read these news at the Canadian CBC. The US should not worry about Argelia. the ties between the CIA and Gadhafi, guau, that is a big one. You are in big trouble with the new rulers, these guys are Muslims, they mean business.

    September 3, 2011 at 1:33 pm | Reply
  3. Kerry

    The Libyan people deserve justice. Algeria needs to do the right thing and return that family if they intend to have peaceful relations with the new Libya. The trials are an important part of the process of moving forward, along with return of the money the family has stolen from the people. Algeria loses credibility when they harbor criminals.

    September 3, 2011 at 10:18 am | Reply
    • paul

      ALGERIA is an independent and sovereign country. it has the right to take in whoewer it wants. It will be a sign of weakness if Algeria had to return the family to Rebels who are manipulated by foreign secret services.

      September 4, 2011 at 1:33 pm | Reply
  4. CharlieSeattle

    The bribes were in. Deal with it.

    August 31, 2011 at 7:24 pm | Reply
    • CSCI132

      Interesting how the State Department has been silent at France and Qatar admitting for months now that they have been violating the UN arms embargo by providing weapons and ammunition to the rebels. Also how England assisted the rebels in physically taking over a Libyan fuel tanker full of gasoline and in international waters. Aso how NATO has allowed the rebels on 4 known seperate occasions to fly fixed wing and helicopters to attack government positions, one rebel plane was found and then escorted back by British jets after it was lost and could not find its base.

      September 2, 2011 at 1:28 pm | Reply
      • Thingsthatmakeyougohmmmmm

        Really? Your point? Helping rebels overthrow a tyrant of 42 years is quite a different thing from admitting said tyrant's family to a neighboring country. Algeria should be under scrutiny for this. Admitting the pregnant woman in imminent labor, ok, but the rest? No.

        September 2, 2011 at 2:07 pm |
  5. Cam Rankin

    While I seriously doubt that Ranger 830 is/was a Ranger, he is right about corruption in the middle east. It is rampant and way out of control. A man's wife and children should not be treated as combatants. If they did commit a war crime then they should be prosecuted under Geneva Law. We already have a standard. Lets use it please!

    August 31, 2011 at 6:04 pm | Reply
  6. ranger 830

    Wonder how much it cost to cross the border!!!!!!!! In any muslim country anything can be had for the right price.Wonder what the murciful Allah has to say about bribery and corruption?Im guessing not much!!!!!!!!

    August 31, 2011 at 10:24 am | Reply
    • Pistoya

      How much is not important in some cases like the cost to You to come on here as an imposter "former ranger." People know what You really are. A poser ! A pretender ! It doesnt cost You anything to come on these boards and talk as if You know what You are talking about (which in fact You obviously do not). I hope Obama declares martial law and puts your ass on a skewar.

      August 31, 2011 at 1:03 pm | Reply
      • jenn

        People like him are filed under "racist moron with little to no education" and unfortunatly are a dime a dozen. No Obama won't put the likes of him on a skewer. The rest of us over here who ARE NOT laughable jerks will have to endure the like until either his falls off his ATV or shoots hiimself while killing random animals for sport.

        August 31, 2011 at 1:11 pm |
    • jenn

      Actually, it's a sin. Like in MOST religions. So lets not be tacky and racist shall we? And it is damn near impossible to cross a boarder over there unless you are some political figure who follows the religion as well as a crushed rock. So please take your ignorance elsewhere.

      August 31, 2011 at 1:04 pm | Reply
      • Pragmatic Dogma

        You all seem to be missing the big picture :)......... Obviously Algeria may have ulterior intentions or actually support this but head for some reason. Maybe there looking to influence New Libya development some how. Oh and if this guy says he is a Ranger then he most have forgotten about the Ranger Creed that we TRUE RANGERS live by.

        September 1, 2011 at 12:40 pm |

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