One of Colonel Muammar Gaddafi’s former female bodyguards, who was arrested by the rebels recently, has claimed that the fallen Libyan leader used to keep female guards to project to the world that women in his country had “equal rights to their male counterparts.”
The woman named Aisha Abed El Salaam Ali, who holds the rank of lieutenant-colonel, was one of the highest ranking female officers in the Libyan army, as well as a member of the Revolutionary Guard. Until recently, she was responsible for the world famous group of female bodyguards who protected Gaddafi, The Express Tribune reports.
Ali, who is unmarried and hails from the town of Traghan in south Libya, joined Qaddafi’s army in 1984, and was captured by rebels last week following a heavy fighting in Zawiya, 50 kilometres southwest of Tripoli.
Speaking for the first time to media, she said: “There were three permanent bodyguards. They would travel with Gaddafi to many destinations. But on every foreign trip, Ali explains, Gaddafi wanted an additional four female bodyguards. “I would choose those girls. The women would be very excited if they were picked for a Qaddafi trip.”
On being asked what makes a woman a perfect ‘Gaddafi-girl’, she replied: “They all had to be army officers. They must be tall, because they would stand behind Gaddafi.”
Beautiful? “Not necessarily,” she said, adding: “With a little make-up, every woman can look pretty.”
She also said that she never accompanied him outside Libya, but was his bodyguard during a trip to the town of Sirte.
Meanwhile, reports have suggested that Gaddafi’s sons and some of his loyalists have reportedly fled the town of Bani Walid on Saturday after residents raised rebel flags in a show of defiance.
The fallen dictator’s whereabouts are unknown as of now.