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Burkina Faso offers Gaddafi asylum, recognizes rebels

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Denzel Musumba

Denzel Musumba


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One of Col Muammar Gaddafi’s former strongest allies in West Africa, Burkina Faso's Blaise Compaore, has offered asylum to the embattled Libyan leader.In a statement broadcast on state radio on Thursday, the country's foreign ministry said the government was also recognising the rebels National Transitional Council (NTC).Two other former Gaddafi allies in the region, The Gambia and Senegal, had earlier recognised the rebels while Ethiopia and Nigeria on Thursday also said that they would work with the NTC.

Some 15 heads of state who are represented on the African Union's Peace and Security Council will Friday meet in Addis Ababa to adopt a common position on Libya as Col Gaddafi's 42-year reign looked to have come to a shuddering halt.

The statement said the government and people of Burkina Faso "ardently hope" that Col Gaddafi accepts the offer in the interest of peace.

One of the largest boulevards in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso's capital, is named after Col Gadaffi. The Libyan strongman has been a strategic military ally to the impoverished and landlocked country.

Col Gadaffi also constructed the biggest four-star hotel in Burkina Faso, which rivals the now-Libyan owned Laico Regency hotel in Nairobi, Kenya.

The statement added that as in the past, Burkina Faso would continue to provide "a warm and hearty welcome" to the estranged Libyan leader if he accepted the offer.The foreign ministry also called on the warring factions to cease hostilities and give the Libyan people hope for a peaceful future.