Nigerian officials say that Moammar Gadhafi is not in their country.
After reports that the deposed Libyan leader had escaped and crossed his nation's southwestern border surfaced Monday, Niger's Foreign Minister Mohamed Bazoum quickly denied the story.
It is not true, it is not Gaddafi and I do not think the convoy was of the size attributed to it, Bazoum told Agence France Presse on Tuesday.
Yet other officials do attest that high-ranking Gadhafi loyalists are part of the two convoys headed to Niger's capital of Niamey. An Interior Ministry employee told CNN that Libyan general Mansour Daw and five other Libyan officials were in Niger.
Additionally, the National Transitional Council -- the Libyan rebels' interim government -- believes that Gadhafi's son Saif al-Islam is part of the convoy.
Before the Libyan revolution began in February, Saif al-Islam was considered to be the Western-educated, progressive heir to the Libyan throne. At last report, rebels believed that he is in a bunker in Bani Walid, one of the last pro-Gadhafi bastions left.
It is thought that the convoy could be moving through Niger and heading to Burkina Faso (formerly called Upper Volta). In August, the West African nation said it could provide safe-harbor to Gadhafi, despite the international warrant for his arrest.
Gadhafi, along with his son Saif al-Islam and his former foreign minister, is wanted by the International Criminal Court on war crimes charges.
In the name of peace, I think we will take, with our partners in the international community, whatever steps are necessary, Burkinabe Foreign Minister Yipene Djibril Bassolet stated.
On Monday, Gadhafi spokesman Moussa Ibrahim gave a contradicting report, saying once again that Gadhafi was safely bunkered somewhere in Libya.
Moammar Gadhafi is in excellent health and in very, very high spirits, Ibrahim said on Al Rai TV. He is in a place that will not be reached by those fractious groups, and he is in Libya.
Despite ties between Nigerien tribes and Gadhafi, Niger's government has officially recognized the Nation Transitional Council. More than 40 nations have recognized the council, including Burkina Faso, and former Gadhafi-allies Chad and Russia.