News / Africa

Clinton in Libya Vows Support For Democracy

US Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton meets Libyan soldiers at the steps of her C-17 military transport upon her arrival in Tripoli in Libya, October 18, 2011.
US Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton meets Libyan soldiers at the steps of her C-17 military transport upon her arrival in Tripoli in Libya, October 18, 2011.

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton went to Libya Tuesday to show support for the leaders Washington and other NATO countries helped bring to power.  The visit highlights the struggle of Libya's interim government to prove it is strong enough on its own.

Hillary Clinton is the highest level U.S. official to go to Libya since the fall of Moammar Gadhafi and the rise of the National Transitional Council.

She met with NTC chairman Mustafa Abdel Jalil and interim Prime Minister Mahmoud Jibril and offered a variety of assistance and support for a transition to democratic rule.

In a press conference with Jibril, Clinton said it was an honor to stand on the soil of a "free Libya" and a privilege to see a "new future for Libya being born."

America's top diplomat offered help for Libya to establish greater security. "I am pleased to announce that we are going to put even more money into helping Libya secure and destroy dangerous stockpiles of weapons. And the administration, working with Congress, is going to provide $40 million to support this effort.  We will also work with Libya to destroy chemical weapons stock," said Clinton.

And she promised millions more dollars in aid for a nation trying to rebuild. The help ranges from military equipment to educational and economic programs, medical care for wounded fighters, and archeological help in preserving Libya's Greek and Roman-era ruins.

The United States was an early backer, along with France and Britain, of intervention on behalf of the anti-Gadhafi uprising earlier this year and helped persuade the United Nations to mandate a NATO-led air mission to protect civilians.

But such help could come at a cost.  The NTC has yet to consolidate either military or political rule.

Libya scholar Ziad Akl of the Ahram Center in Cairo says the various parties contending for power could accuse the NTC of over-reliance on the West.

"There seems to be an agreement on the necessity of the role of the West," said Akl. "It's just the amount of obedience that they have to show and the amount of autonomy that the West should provide. And [it] should not condition its aid to following a specific agenda laid down by the Western allies."

The U.S. and European nations are not the only ones trying to build a partnership with the new leaders of the oil-rich nation.  Qatar moved quickly to side with the NTC, supporting the military mission and providing massive amounts of financial aid.  Turkey was slower to take sides, but has made up time with both economic and political support. Yet the Ahram Center's Akl believes, however problematic, Libya's new leadership will show allegiance to the West.

"There is political capital that the West had laid down there, that even the Qataris and Turks cannot ignore or step over," said the scholar.

Clinton's visit comes a day after the NTC declared near-victory over Gadhafi loyalists in the desert town of Bani Walid.  NTC fighters have yet to control the coastal city of Sirte and several southern areas.  The continued fighting has shown the limits of NATO's help in what is now more a guerrilla-style conflict.

Clinton and Libyan leaders discussed bringing the numerous anti-Gadhafi militias carrying out those operations under unified, national control.

U.S. officials say she also pushed for a pledge that the new government abide by the rule of law, in particular concerning prisoners' rights.  Human rights observers have criticized the NTC for not controlling the abuse of people in their custody.

You May Like

This US Epidemic Keeps Getting Worse

One in 4 Americans suffers from this condition More

How to Safeguard Your Mobile Privacy

As the digital world becomes more mobile, so too do concerns about eroding privacy and increased hacking More

'Desert Dancer' Chronicles Iranian Underground Dance Troupe

Film by Richard Raymond is based on true story of Afshin Ghaffarian and his friends 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.
Scientists Say Plankton More Important Than Previously Thoughti
X
George Putic
May 26, 2015 9:26 PM
Tiny ocean creatures called plankton are mostly thought of as food for whales and other large marine animals, but a four-year global study discovered, among other things, that plankton are a major source of oxygen on our planet. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Scientists Say Plankton More Important Than Previously Thought

Tiny ocean creatures called plankton are mostly thought of as food for whales and other large marine animals, but a four-year global study discovered, among other things, that plankton are a major source of oxygen on our planet. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Kenyans Lament Losing Sons to al-Shabab

There is agony, fear and lost hope in the Kenyan town of Isiolo, a key target of a new al-Shabab recruitment drive. VOA's Mohammed Yusuf visits Isiolo to speak with families and at least one man who says he was a recruiter.
Video

Video US-led Coalition Gives Some Weapons to Iraqi Troops

In a video released Tuesday from the Iraqi Ministry of Defense, Iraqi forces and U.S.-led coalition troops survey a cache of weapons supplied to help Iraq liberate Mosul from Islamic State group. According to a statement provided with the video, the ministry and the U.S.-led coaltion troops have started ''supplying the 16th army division with medium and light weapons in preparation to liberate Mosul and nearby areas from Da'esh (Arabic acronym for Islamic State group).''
Video

Video Amnesty International: 'Overwhelming Evidence' of War Crimes in Ukraine

Human rights group Amnesty International says there is overwhelming evidence of ongoing war crimes in Ukraine, despite a tentative cease-fire with pro-Russian rebels. Researchers interviewed more than 30 prisoners from both sides of the conflict and all but one said they were tortured. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video Washington Parade Honors Those Killed Serving in US Military

Every year, on the last Monday in the month of May, millions of Americans honor the memories of those killed while serving in the armed forces. Memorial Day is a tradition that dates back to the 19th Century. While many people celebrate the federal holiday with a barbecue and a day off from work, for those who’ve served in the military, it’s a special day to remember those who made the ultimate sacrifice. Arash Arabasadi reports for VOA from Washington.
Video

Video Kenya’s Capital Sees Rise in Shisha Parlors

In Kenya, the smoking of shisha, a type of flavored tobacco, is the latest craze. Patrons are flocking to shisha parlors to smoke and socialize. But the practice can be addictive and harmful, though many dabblers may not realize the dangers, according to a new review. Lenny Ruvaga has more on the story for VOA from Nairobi, Kenya.
Video

Video Rolling Thunder Run Reveals Changed Attitudes Towards Vietnam War

For many US war veterans, the Memorial Day holiday is an opportunity to look back at a divisive conflict in the nation’s history and to remember those who did not make it home.
Video

Video Female American Soldiers: Healing Through Filmmaking

According to the United States Defense Department, there are more than 200-thousand women serving in the U.S. Armed Forces.  Like their male counterparts, females have experiences that can be very traumatic.  VOA's Bernard Shusman tells us about a program that is helping some American women in the military heal through filmmaking.
Video

Video Iowa Family's Sacrifice Shaped US Military Service for Generations

Few places in America have experienced war like Waterloo. This small town in the Midwest state of Iowa became famous during World War II not for what it accomplished, but what it lost. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, the legacy of one family’s sacrifice is still a reminder today of the real cost of war for all families on the homefront.
Video

Video On Film: How Dance Defies Iran's Political Oppression

'Desert Dancer' by filmmaker Richard Raymond is based on the true story of a group of young Iranians, who form an underground dance troupe in the Islamic Republic of Iran. This is the latest in a genre of films that focus on dance as a form of freedom of expression against political oppression and social injustice. VOA’s Penelope Poulou has more.
Video

Video Turkey's Ruling Party Trying to Lure Voters in Opposition Stronghold

Turkey’s AK (Justice and Development) Party is seeking a fourth successive general election victory, with the goal of securing two-thirds of the seats in Parliament to rewrite the constitution and change the country's parliamentary system into a presidential one. To achieve that, the party will need to win seats in opposition strongholds like the western city of Izmir. Dorian Jones reports.
Video

Video Millions Flock to Ethiopia Polls

Millions of Ethiopians cast their votes Sunday in the first national election since the 2012 death of longtime leader Meles Zenawi. Mr. Meles' party, the Ethiopian People's Revolutionary Democratic Front, is almost certain of victory again. VOA's Anita Powell reports from Addis Ababa.

VOA Blogs