Nothing is proven yet, but there are strong signs that Libyan strongman Muammar Gaddafi is looking for a way out.
He’s fighting a losing war and his chances of staying in power for long aren’t good. Some of his officials have realized this and abandoned him. Gaddafi must also have seen that Tunisia’s Ben Ali, having fled his country when he was still able to, is now in a Saudi palace while Egypt's Mubarak, who stayed behind too long, is under house arrest in his home country and facing torture investigations.
Gaddafi is as hated – if not more so – by his country’s rebels as Mubarak and Ben Ali were; he certainly wants to avoid the fate of being arrested and at the mercy of the protestors.
Previously, Arab media already reported that Gaddafi reached out to rebels to arrange an exit whereby he and his family leaves with all of their wealth. The rebels rejected Gaddafi’s offer, according to the reports. (However, outside of Arab media, this story wasn’t confirmed.)
Now, UK newspaper The Guardian reported that Gaddafi has sent one of his “most trusted envoys to London for confidential talks with British officials.” The purpose of the talks is likely about arranging an exit.
A western diplomatic source also said “there has been increasing evidence recently that [Gaddafi’s adult] sons want a way out.”
An exit for Gaddafi, however, may not exist. There are already indications that the rebels won’t let him leave and want him held accountable for his crimes against the people.
The Western international community also seems to want to hold Gaddafi accountable. Other North African and Middle East regimes, faced with the threat of their own revolt, won’t welcome the stigma attached with the Libyan dictator. The only countries that may take an exiled Gaddafi are African countries south of Libya.
At this point, given all the uncertainties and variables, it’s impossible to predict what the ultimate fate of Gaddafi will be. However, it seems pretty clear that Gaddafi 30-year rule of Libya will soon end in some form or another.