TRIPOLI (AFP) - Libya's new leaders were on Wednesday urgently seeking Niger's help in preventing Moamer Gaddafi, his family or his troops from crossing the border, as the hunt for the fugitive strongman intensified. New regime forces, meanwhile, were poised to battle loyalist troops still holding out in their remaining strongholds of Bani Walid, southeast of Tripoli, Sabha in the deep south and the coastal city of Sirte, Gaddafi's hometown. In the runup to a transfer of the government in waiting once the final holdouts have fallen, National Transitional Council (NTC) number two Mahmud Jibril arrived in Tripoli, its acting deputy information minister said. "Jibril arrived today but he is in meetings," Khaled Najm told AFP. Gaddafi's sole remaining media mouthpiece, Mishan al-Juburi, owner of the Syria-based Arrai Oruba television, said the defeated leader was still in Libya, along with his son Seif al-Islam. "I can tell you that I spoke with Gaddafi very recently," Juburi told AFP. "He is in Libya, in very good spirits, feels strong, is not afraid, and would be happy to die fighting against the occupiers," Juburi, a former Iraqi MP, said by telephone. "His son Seif al-Islam is in the same state of mind," added Juburi, whose channel has broadcast a number of audio messages from Gaddafi and his son since they went into hiding after Tripoli was overrun by rebel fighters last month. Asked how he makes contact with Gaddafi, Juburi said: "When I need to talk to him, I send him a message, or he contacts me when he wants to pass a message." Meanwhile, the African Union denounced reports of racist attacks in Libya on Wednesday and the head of its executive arm urged the new rebel government there to dissociate itself from the violence. The chairman of the AU commission, Jean Ping, said many members of the African Union had not yet recognised the National Transitional Council as the legitimate government of Libya because of reports of anti-black violence. Libya's former leader, ousted strongman Moamer Gaddafi, recruited many sub-Saharan Africans into his armed forces and since rebel forces seized Tripoli last month there have been reports of reprisals against blacks. "Blacks are being killed. Blacks hare having their throats slit. Blacks are accused of being mercenaries. Do you think it's normal in a country that's a third black that blacks are confused with mercenaries?" Ping demanded. Global watchdogs such as Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International, as well as media organisations including AFP, have gathered reports of African migrants and residents in Libya being murdered in racist attacks. "There are mercenaries in Libya, many of them are black, but there are not only blacks and not all blacks there are mercenaries. Sometimes, when they are white, they call them technical advisors," Ping noted sarcastically. Gaddafi's former regime employed mercenaries from Serbia and Croatia, and the rebel forces that ousted him were supported by agents and special forces from France and Britain - including some from the private sector. Ping called on the NTC to "dissociate" itself from the gangs carrying out lynchings if it hopes to persuade more African countries to renew ties. "We have asked that which we call the 'treatment' being inflicted on blacks should not simply be denounced, but that the authority in place dissociate itself from them," he said, at a news conference in Paris. Many AU members were allied to Gaddafi's regime, and some were angered by NATO's involvement in his overthrow, believing African problems should have African solutions. Ping said the AU wanted a broad-based government in Libya. And he warned that the rebellion had left Libya unstable and its huge arms caches prey to looting by extremists and smugglers. "Africa has become an arms transit zone. Where will these weapons end up? There are even sophisticated weapons ending up in Palestine. That's what the Palestinian foreign minister told me," he said.