[QODLink]
Africa
Former Gaddafi number two 'defects' to rebels
Ex-PM Abdessalam Jalloud, who fell out of favour with Gaddafi in mid-nineties, flees Tripoli to rebel-held territory.
Last Modified: 20 Aug 2011 01:32
 Abdel Salam Jalloud's (right) defection is seen as another major blow to Gaddafi [Reuters]


Muammar Gaddafi's former right-hand man, Abdel Salam Jalloud, has defected to rebel-held territory in Libya's Western Mountains, a rebel spokesman said.

Jalloud was a member of the junta that staged a 1969 coup bringing Gaddafi to power, and was seen as the North African oil producer state's second in command before falling out of Gaddafi's favour in the 1990s.

"He is definitely here in Zintan. He is under the control of the military council here," Massoud Ali, a local rebel spokesman, told Reuters on Friday.

"Commander Jalloud has managed to flee Tripoli with his family and arrived Friday in the town of Zintan," located in rebel-held territory southwest of the capital, another senior rebel said on condition of anonymity.

Jalloud was prime minister from 1972 to 1977.

Following his dispute with Gaddafi, he had retired from politics altogether and lived under virtual house arrest.

He reportedly was stripped of his passport and put under virtual house arrest, following a disagreement with Gaddafi.

Another blow to Gaddafi

Jalloud is from the influential Megarha clan and has remained a popular figure in Libya.

In October 2010, media controlled by Gaddafi’s son Saif al-Islam had mentioned Jalloud's name as a possible prime minister to lead the fight against corruption.

Pictures showing Jalloud in the western town of Zintan appeared on rebel Facebook pages. Jalloud did not issue any statements, but rebel spokesman Mahmoud Shammam said he had confirmed the defection on the telephone.

His defection to the rebellion is another blow to Gaddafi’s regime, which has been hit by several high-profile defections since an uprising began in February in the country's east

Rebels also said Jalloud could provide valuable information about Gaddafi's inner circle.

Source:
Agencies
Topics in this article
People
Country
City
Featured on Al Jazeera
Muslim volunteers face questioning and threat of arrest, while aid has been disrupted or blocked, charities say.
Six months on, outrage and sorrow over the mass schoolgirl abduction has disappeared - except for families in Nigeria.
ISIL combatants seeking an 'exit strategy' from Mideast conflict need positive reinforcement back home, analysts say.
European nation hit by a wave of Islamophobia as many young fighters join ISIL in Syria and Iraq.
Featured
Lacking cohesive local ground forces to attack in tandem, coalition air strikes will have limited effect, experts say.
Hindu right-wing groups run campaign against what they say is Muslim conspiracy to convert Hindu girls into Islam.
Six months on, outrage and sorrow over the mass schoolgirl abduction has disappeared - except for families in Nigeria.
Muslim caretakers maintain three synagogues in eastern Indian city, which was once home to a thriving Jewish community.
Amid fresh ISIL gains, officials in Anbar province have urged the Iraqi government to request foreign ground troops.