[credit provider=”AP Photo/Charles Tasnadi”]
Walter Fauntroy, the former District of Columbia delegate to the House of Representatives, is among those trapped in a Libyan hotel surrounded by forces loyal to the unseated ruled Moammar Qaddafi, The Telegraph reports. Fauntroy, a Baptist minister, traveled to the country over a week ago as part of a “peace mission,” the paper reported. He has been kept at the Rixos hotel in Tripoli where dozens of international journalists have been holed up for the past week — prevented from leaving and the target of occasional sniper fire. Clashes were reported outside of the hotel on Wednesday.
A close associate of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Fauntroy was the Washington coordinator for the historic March on Washington in 1963. He served as DC’s representative to Congress from 1970 to 1990 — a non-voting position — and was a founding member of the Congressional Black Caucus.
In an interview with the Telegraph, Fauntroy said he “came here over a week ago now and have been working on a long term effort to rally the genuine spiritual leaders of the world … to work out a peace agreement.”
“Right now we are in a precarious situation with some of our friends from the media, because we fear that unless we are able to relocate, we may all be in danger,” he said.
In a statement, his successor in Congress, Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton, said she spoke with Fauntroy’s wife Dorothy, who said he expects to be able to return to Washington later this week for the unveiling of the memorial dedicated to Dr. King on the National Mall.
“Ms. Fauntroy did not know the circumstances of Reverend Fauntroy’s visit to Libya,” the statement said. “He told her of the trip only shortly before his departure in order to prevent her from worrying.”