News / Africa

Battles Rage as Libya Rejects a Rebel Cease-fire Offer

Libyan rebels celebrate as they hear about air strikes at front line near Brega, Libya, April 1, 2011
Libyan rebels celebrate as they hear about air strikes at front line near Brega, Libya, April 1, 2011

Forces loyal to Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi continue their tank and artillery attacks against Misrata, Libya's third largest city and the only one in the western part of the country held by the rebels.

Friday's assault came the same day an opposition leader in the eastern rebel stronghold of Benghazi proposed a cease-fire. Mustafa Abdul-Jalil, a former Libyan justice minister, said government troops first must withdraw from cities they now control, while ending their siege of those under control of the rebels. He also said Libyans living in western cities must be given the freedom to determine their fate.

The cease-fire offer, however, was almost immediately rejected by the Gadhafi government as a "trick." A government spokesman, Mussa Ibrahim, told reporters in Tripoli, the capital, the rebels' demands are "impossible." "They never offered peace," he said, instead demanding a withdrawal from "our cities."

There also has been heavy fighting in and around Brega, one of a string of oil towns along the Mediterranean coast that have changed hands since the uprising against the 42-year-old rule of Gadhafi began in mid-February.

On Friday, the Libyan government labeled the continued Western coalition air attacks in support of the rebels as "crimes against humanity." It said at least six civilians were killed in an air attack Thursday on a village near Brega.

As the fighting rages, a United Nations official concluded two days of talks with both sides in the conflict. On Thursday, special envoy Abdelilah Al-Khatib was in Tripoli, meeting with government officials. On Friday, he visited Benghazi for talks with rebel leaders, including Abdul-Jalil.

Also Friday, Mohammed Ismail, an aide to Gadhafi's son, Saif al-Islam, was in London visiting relatives and held talks with British officials on the situation in Libya. There also have been discussions involving Libya's former foreign minister, Moussa Koussa, who fled Tripoli on Wednesday and flew to Britain to defect.

Some information for this report was provided by AP, AFP and Reuters.

You May Like

Mali's Female Basketball Players Rebound After Islamist Occupation

Islamist extremists ruled northern Mali for most of 2012, imposing strict Sharia law, and now some 18 months later, the region is slowly getting back on its feet More

Video Vietnamese Staging Chinese Product Boycott After Oil Rig Spat

Many Chinese-made products go unsold, for now, with numerous Vietnamese consumers still angry over recent dispute More

Koreas Mark 61st Anniversary of War Armistice

Muted observances on both sides of heavily-armed Demilitarized Zone that separates two decades-long enemies More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Students in Business for Themselvesi
X
Mike O'Sullivan
July 26, 2014 11:04 AM
They're only high school students, but they are making accessories for shoes, fabricating backpacks and doing product photography - all through their own businesses. It's the result of a partnership between a non-profit organization that teaches entrepreneurship and their schools. VOA's Mike O'Sullivan and Deyane Moses met the budding entrepreneurs near Los Angeles.
Video

Video Students in Business for Themselves

They're only high school students, but they are making accessories for shoes, fabricating backpacks and doing product photography - all through their own businesses. It's the result of a partnership between a non-profit organization that teaches entrepreneurship and their schools. VOA's Mike O'Sullivan and Deyane Moses met the budding entrepreneurs near Los Angeles.
Video

Video Astronauts Train in Underwater Lab

In the world’s only underwater laboratory, four U.S. astronauts train for a planned visit to an asteroid. The lab - called Aquarius- is located five kilometers off Key Largo, in southern Florida. Living in close quarters and making excursions only into the surrounding ocean, they try to simulate the daily routine of a crew that will someday travel to collect samples of a rock orbiting far away from earth. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Not Even Monks Spared From Thailand’s Junta-Backed Morality Push

With Thailand’s military government firmly in control after May’s bloodless coup, authorities are carrying out plans they say are aimed at restoring discipline, morality and patriotism to all Thais. The measures include a crackdown on illegal gambling, education reforms to promote students’ moral development, and a new 24-hour phone hotline for citizens to report misbehaving monks. Steve Sandford reports from Bangkok.
Video

Video Virtual Program Teaches Farming Skills

In a fast-changing world beset by unpredictable climate conditions, farmers cannot afford to ignore new technology. Researchers in Australia are developing an online virtual world program to share information about climate change and more sustainable farming techniques for sugar cane growers. As VOA's Zlatica Hoke reports, the idea is to create a wider support network for farmers.
Video

Video Airline Expert: Missile will Show Signature on Debris

The debris field from Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 is spread over a 21-kilometer radius in eastern Ukraine. It is expected to take investigators months to sort through the airplane pieces to learn about the missile that brought down the jetliner and who fired it. VOAs Carolyn Presutti explains how this work will be done.
Video

Video Treatment for Childhood Epilepsy Heats up Medical Marijuana Debate

In the United States, marijuana is classed as an illegal drug by the federal government. But nearly half the states have legalized it, to some degree. Proponents say some strains of marijuana might have exceptional health benefits, for treating pain or inflammation in chronic conditions such as cancer, multiple sclerosis and epilepsy. Shelley Schlender reports on a strain of medical marijuana developed in Colorado that is reputed to reduce seizures in childhood epilepsy
Video

Video Airbus Adds Metal 3D Printed Parts to New Jets

By the end of this year, European aircraft manufacturing consortium Airbus plans to deliver the first of its new, extra-wide-body passenger jets, the A350-XWB. Among other technological innovations, the new plane will also incorporate metal parts made in a 3-D printer. VOA's George Putic has more.
Video

Video AIDS Conference Welcomes Exciting Developments in HIV Treatment, Prevention

Significant strides have been made in recent years toward the treatment and prevention of HIV, the virus that causes AIDS. This year, at the International AIDS Conference, the AIDS community welcomed progress on a new pill that may prevent transmission of the deadly virus. VOA’s Anita Powell reports from Melbourne, Australia.
Video

Video IAEA: Iran Turns its Enriched Uranium Into Less Harmful Form

Iran has converted its stockpiles of enriched uranium into a less dangerous form that is more difficult to use for nuclear weapons, according to the United Nations’ Atomic Energy Agency. The move complies with an interim deal reached with Western powers on Iran's nuclear program last year, in exchange for easing of sanctions. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.

AppleAndroid