Monday, September 01, 2003

Libya: deal reached with UTA families

Libya has reached a deal with the families of those killed in the 1989 bombing of UTA Flight 772 over Niger. The deal is not final yet because they haven't signed anything ... but both sides say they agree on the amount.

Years ago, the families of the 170 victims of UTA received about $33 million from Libya. In contrast, a couple of weeks ago, the US and UK secured $2.7 billion for the Lockerbie families. This deal outraged the UTA families and they demanded more money. The French government supported their demand by threatening to veto the resolution before the Security Council which would lift the international sanctions on Libya.

For what it's worth .... The victims' families have been negotiating directly with Libya ... the French government is just backing them up. This is in contrast to the governments of the US & UK which negotiated directly with Libya on behalf of the Lockerbie families.

There's also a report that Libya is trying to come to some compensation agreement with Germany for the 1986 nightclub bombing in West Berlin.

The money for all these different deals is going to be paid by the "Gaddafi International Foundation for Charity Associations" ... an organization run by Gaddafi's son, Seif al-Islam Gaddafi. This is the same organization that paid the ransom for those European toursists released a couple of weeks ago... and also paid the ranson for German (and I believe, South African) tourists held hostage in the Philippines a few years ago.

Here is my run-down of the Lockerbie deal.