As rebels take over Tripoli, Col. Muammar el-Qaddafi's choices dwindle
Anti-Qaddafi forces fire mortars near Tripoli / Reuters
As rebels win more and more control of Tripoli, the campaign to oust Col. Muammar el-Qaddafi will begin to shift toward a new question: Where will he go if he survives? While some officials, including Italian Foreign Minister Franco Frattini, believe Qaddafi has no choice but to surrender, he has yet to give up the fight.
If Qaddafi manages to escape capture, here are some of his most likely destinations.
Algeria: Qaddafi was allegedly "near the Algerian border" on Sunday, as rebels flooded into Tripoli's Green Square, which was renamed Martyr Square. Despite these reports, however, the Algerian Foreign Ministry denied on Monday that Qaddafi is in the country.
Equatorial Guinea: Qaddafi's links with the African Union make it all the more likely that he will stay in Africa. Equatorial Guinea is not a member of the International Criminal Court, which indicted Qaddafi in June, meaning that he would remain outside the reach of prosecution. It remains to be seen whether Teodoro Obiang Nguema, the second-longest-serving African leader after Qaddafi, will extend the Libyan despot an asylum offer.
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South Africa: A history of hosting deposed leaders--including Madagascar's Marc Ravalomanana and Haiti's Jean-Bertrand Aristide--suggests that South Africa could be a destination for Qaddafi's exile. President Jacob Zuma has visited Libya to urge a cease-fire agreement, while Qaddafi counts Nelson Mandela as an old friend. However, foreign minister Maite Nkoana-Mashabane claimed that he had not asked for aslyum, nor would South Africa offer it.