News / Middle East

Clinton: Libyan Bloodshed 'Completely Unacceptable'

Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, speaks at the State Department in Washington Feb. 22, 2011
Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, speaks at the State Department in Washington Feb. 22, 2011

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton Tuesday said violence unleashed against Libyan protesters is "completely unacceptable" and that the United States will take "appropriate steps" to deal with the situation.  Clinton and other U.S. officials are focusing on the safety of several thousand American citizens in Libya.  

Officials here indicate they are tempering their Libya rhetoric out of concern for Americans who might become stranded in Libya.  But Clinton’s remarks still were the harshest by the United States thus far about the violence there.

At a press event with Latvian Foreign Minister Girts Valdis Kristovskis, Clinton called the bloodshed in Libya, which might have claimed hundreds of victims, "completely unacceptable" and said it is the responsibility of Libyan authorities to respect the universal rights of their people.

She said that although the Libyan government shutdown of communications is limiting U.S. understanding of the situation, the American and world response to the violence is unequivocal. "I think that the message today is very clear and unambiguous from the entire international community.  There is no ambivalence.  There is no doubt in anyone’s mind that the violence must stop and that the government of Libya has a responsibility to respect the universal rights of all of its citizens, and to support the exercise of those rights," she said.

Clinton said the safety and well-being of Americans in Libya is the Obama administration’s highest immediate priority and that the United States is in contact with officials in Libya and neighboring states on their behalf.

Officials here say several thousand Americans, many with dual U.S. and Libyan citizenship, live in the North African country, including hundreds working in the oil industry.

The State Department on Monday ordered the evacuation of family members of embassy staffers and non-emergency personnel from the U.S. mission in Tripoli.  But officials noted with some concern that none of the affected group of several dozen people has been able to leave.

Clinton noted with approval steps by the monarchy in Bahrain to ease tensions after deadly violence there between security forces and protestors, including a prisoner release and overture for dialogue with opposition elements.

"We hope Bahrain’s friends across the region and around the world will support this initiative as a constructive path to preserve Bahrain’s stability and help meet the aspirations of all its people.  As we have said, these steps will need to be followed by concrete actions and reforms," she said.

Appealing for continued restraint in Bahrain, Clinton urged parties there to "work quickly" so that a national dialogue can produce meaningful measures that respond to the legitimate aspirations of all of the people of Bahrain.

The Sunni Muslim-led Persian Gulf state, with a Shi'ite majority, hosts the U.S. Navy’s 5th Fleet and is considered critical to American security interests.

Clinton also condemned reports of continued violence in Yemen, while welcoming initial steps by authorities in Egypt and Tunisia toward democratic reform.

NEW: Follow our Middle East reports on Twitter
and discuss them on our Facebook page.

You May Like

UN Report Exposes Widespread Boko Haram Atrocities

Damning report graphically details pattern of vicious, widespread atrocities committed by Islamist militants More

Russia’s Prosecutor General to Review Legality of Baltics Independence

Move, announced Tuesday, has alarmed Baltic States and strained even further their increasingly tense ties with Moscow More

US Urged to Keep Up Pressure on Cuba Rights

Communist government continues to hold dozens of political prisoners, tightly restricts freedom of expression, uses threats, intimidation to discourage critics, according to activist groups 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.
Hate Groups Spread Influence Via Interneti
X
Mike O'Sullivan
June 30, 2015 8:20 PM
Hate groups of various kinds are using the Internet for propaganda and recruitment, and a Jewish human rights organization that monitors these groups, the Simon Wiesenthal Center, says their influence is growing. The messages are different, but the calls to hatred or violence are similar. VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports.
Video

Video Hate Groups Spread Influence Via Internet

Hate groups of various kinds are using the Internet for propaganda and recruitment, and a Jewish human rights organization that monitors these groups, the Simon Wiesenthal Center, says their influence is growing. The messages are different, but the calls to hatred or violence are similar. VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports.
Video

Video US Silica Sand Mining Surge Worries Illinois Residents, Businesses

Increased domestic U.S. oil and gas production, thanks to advances known as “fracking,” has created a boom for other industries supporting that extraction. Demand for silica sand, used in fracking, could triple over the next five years. In the Midwest state of Illinois, people living near the mines are worried about how increased silica sand mining will affect their businesses and their health. VOA’s Kane Farabaugh has more in this first of a series of reports.
Video

Video Blind Somali Journalist Defies Odds in Mogadishu

Despite improving security in the last few years, Somalia remains one of the most dangerous countries to be a journalist – even more so for someone who cannot see. Abdulaziz Billow has the story of journalist Abdifatah Hassan Kalgacal, who has been reporting from the Somali capital for the last decade despite being blind.
Video

Video Texas Defies Same-Sex Marriage Ruling

Texas state officials have criticized the US Supreme Court decision giving same-sex couples the right to marry nationwide. The attorney general of Texas says last week's decision did not overrule constitutional "rights of religious liberty," and therefore officials performing wedding services can refuse to perform them for same-sex couples if it is against their religious beliefs. Zlatica Hoke reports on the controversy.
Video

Video Syrians Flee IS Advance in Hasaka

The Syrian government said Monday it has taken back one of several districts in Hasaka overrun by Islamic State militants. But continued fighting elsewhere in the northern city has forced thousands of civilians from their homes. In this report narrated by Bill Rodgers, VOA Kurdish Service reporter Zana Omer describes the scene in Amouda, where some of the displaced are taking refuge.
Video

Video Rabbi Hits Road to Heal Jewish-Muslim Relations in France

France is on high alert after last week's terrorist attack near the city Lyon, just six months after deadly Paris shootings. The attack have added new tensions to relations between French Jews and Muslims. France’s Jewish and Muslim communities also share a common heritage, though, and as far as one French rabbi is concerned, they are destined to be friends. From the Paris suburb of La Courneuve, Lisa Bryant reports about Rabbi Michel Serfaty and his friendship bus.
Video

Video S. Korea Christians Protest Gay Rights Festival

The U.S. Supreme Court decision mandating marriage equality nationwide has energized gay rights supporters around the world. Gay rights remain a highly contentious issue in a key U.S. ally, South Korea, where police did a deft job Sunday of preventing potential clashes between Christian protesters and gay activists. Kurt Achin reports from Seoul.
Video

Video Saudi Leaks Expose ‘Checkbook Diplomacy’ In Battle With Iran

Saudi Arabia’s willingness to wield its oil money on the global diplomatic stage appears to have been laid bare, after the website WikiLeaks published tens of thousands of leaked cables from Riyadh’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video Nubians in Kenya Face Land Challenges

East Africa's ethnic Nubians have a rich cultural history that dates back thousands of years, but in Kenya they are facing hardships, including the loss of lands they have lived on for generations. They say the government has reneged on its pledge to award them title deeds for the plots. VOA's Lenny Ruvaga reports.
Video

Video Military Experts Question New Russian Tank Capabilities

Russia has been showing off its new tank design – the Armata T-14. Designers claim it is 20 years ahead of current Western designs - and driving it feels like playing a computer game. But military analysts question those assertions, and warn the cost could be too heavy a burden for Russia’s struggling economy. Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video In Kenya, Police Said to Shoot First, Ask Questions Later

An organization that documents torture and extrajudicial killings says Kenyan police were responsible for 1,252 shooting deaths in five cities, including Nairobi, between 2009 and 2014, representing 67 percent of all gun deaths in the areas reviewed. Gabe Joselow has more from Nairobi.
Video

Video In Syrian Crisis, Social Media Offer Small Comforts

Za’atari, a makeshift city in Jordan, may be the only Syrian refugee camp to tweet its activities, in an effort to keep donors motivated as the war in Syria intensifies and the humanitarian crisis deepens. Inside the camp, families say mobile phone applications help hold together families that are physically torn apart. VOA’s Heather Murdock reports.

VOA Blogs