This is a daily update of the latest developments in Libya to keep you updated on the situation on the ground. On the Go? Follow us on Twitter @Feb17Libya for updates and continued discussion.
10:31pm: Muammar Gaddafi’s fugitive son Saif al-Islam has been in contact with the international criminal court in the Hague about surrendering to face charges of inciting the murder of thousands of Libyans. The judicial body confirmed establishing an indirect link with the elder Gaddafi scion, who is believed to be in southern Libya where he is attempting to reach either Niger or Mali. ICC chief prosecutor, Luis Moreno Ocampo said conversations had so far been informal and been held with an associate of the Libyan. Saif faces the most serious charges on the court’s statutes, committing crimes against humanity. An indictment was filed against him in June.
9:30pm: NATO has formally announced the end of its military mission in Libya following a meeting of ambassadors from the alliance’s 28 states in Brussels. Friday’s decision comes a day after the 15-nation United Nations Security Council unanimously voted to end the mandate that had authorised military action in Libya. Alliance warplanes will cease operations on Monday after flying more than 26,000 sorties, and bombing almost 6,000 targets, in a seven-month operation that helped bring about the overthrow of Muammar Gaddafi, the former Libyan leader.
“We have fully complied with the historic mandate of the United Nations to protect the people of Libya, to enforce the no-fly zone and the arms embargo,” Anders Fogh Rasmussen, NATO’s secretary-general, said in a statement.
5:30pm: Muammar Gaddafi’s fugitive son Saif al-Islam Gaddafi can expect a warm welcome and even help hiding among the desert communities south of Libya which were long courted by his father. Alienated further from the West by a war which risks unsettling a fragile regional peace, some were ready to defy an International Criminal Court (ICC) arrest warrant and shelter the son of a man who for years promoted the kinship of Saharan peoples.
“We are ready to hide him wherever needed,” said Mouddour Barka, a resident of Agadez in northern Niger.
“We are telling the international community to stay out of this business and our own authorities not to hand him over — otherwise we are ready to go out onto the streets and they will have us to deal with,” he added.