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Libyan Opposition Says More Aid Needed to Oust Gadhafi

  • Peter Clottey

Wounded rebel fighters are treated in a hospital in Ajdabiyah after being brought in from the road to Ras Lanuf, in Libya, March 30, 2011

Wounded rebel fighters are treated in a hospital in Ajdabiyah after being brought in from the road to Ras Lanuf, in Libya, March 30, 2011

The leader of the opposition Justice and Democracy Party of Libya says logistical and intelligence support from the international community are two key elements “urgently” needed by the revolutionaries seeking to force Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi to step down.

Hadi Shalluf, who is also an international lawyer, says world leaders need to expedite action to aid the rebels fighting almost daily with Gadhafi loyalists.

“That was a very important thing that we were asking [for] from the beginning of the revolution and we hope that they will do it as soon as possible to help the revolutionaries to continue to fighting Gadhafi because, otherwise, if we have no weapons and military equipment, we cannot fight Gadhafi because he has very big military weapons and equipment,” said Shalluf.

“We will need structures and we need people to supervise the young people and the equipment. The young people will be very able to be educated as soon as possible about the [new equipment]. But, what we are asking for is to bring it [military equipment] as soon as possible to Libya. That is what is important. They should bring it by the ships or by the airplanes to Benghazi to be given to the revolutionaries,” he added.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov warned Wednesday against arming the rebels. He said Moscow agrees with a statement made by NATO Secretary-General Anders Fogh Rasmussen that coalition operations in Libya are aimed at protecting the population, not arming it.

Shalluf says efforts by the revolutionaries will, in his words, be greatly enhanced if Western allies continue attacking the heavy weaponry employed by Gadhafi loyalists.

“For that reason, we are asking for many airstrikes against the Gadhafi forces. Unfortunately, there have been very few airstrikes now and so we are asking for more and more airstrikes against Gadhafi troops, and that is what we have been asking [for] everyday,” Shalluf said.

“Gadhafi is finished. He has no legitimacy [because of] the Obama speech Monday and the London meeting Tuesday. All of them have decided that Gadhafi should leave and that he should go outside of Libya. But, this is a question of days,” he added.

Meanwhile, Britain says Libyan Foreign Minister Moussa Koussa has arrived in London and is resigning from Gadhafi's government.

A British Foreign Office spokesman Wednesday said Koussa traveled from Tunisia under his own free will, telling British officials he is resigning his post. The official added that Britain's government encouraged other people around Gadhafi to “abandon him and embrace a better future for Libya.”