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

    Russian Censorship Group Seeks Chinese Help to Better Control Internet

    At recent Safe Internet League forum in Moscow, speakers from both nations underscored desire for authorities to further limit and control information online

    First Human Head Transplant Planned for 2017

    Italian neurosurgeon, assisted by team of 100 medical staff, to perform 36-hour surgery on Russian man with debilitating muscle-wasting disease

    Biden Urges Global Focus on Cancer as a 'Constant Emergency'

    At Vatican conference on regenerative medicine, Vice president notes that cancer kills more than 3,000 people each day in US alone

    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.
    Turkish Kurd Islamist Rally Stokes Tensionsi
    X
    April 29, 2016 12:28 AM
    In a sign of the rising power of Islamists in Turkey, more than 100,000 people recently gathered in Diyarbakir, the main city in Turkey’s predominantly Kurdish southeast, to mark the birthday of the Prophet Muhammad. The gathering highlighted tensions with the pro-secular Kurdish nationalist movement. Dorian Jones reports from Diyarbakir.
    Video

    Video Turkish Kurd Islamist Rally Stokes Tensions

    In a sign of the rising power of Islamists in Turkey, more than 100,000 people recently gathered in Diyarbakir, the main city in Turkey’s predominantly Kurdish southeast, to mark the birthday of the Prophet Muhammad. The gathering highlighted tensions with the pro-secular Kurdish nationalist movement. Dorian Jones reports from Diyarbakir.
    Video

    Video Pakistani School Helps Slum Kids

    Master Mohammad Ayub runs a makeshift school in a public park in Islamabad. Thousands of poor children have benefited from his services over the years, but, as VOA's Ayesha Tanzeem reports, roughly 25 million school-age youths don't get an education in Pakistan.
    Video

    Video Florida’s Weeki Wachee ‘Mermaids’ Make a Splash

    Since 1947, ‘mermaids’ have fascinated tourists at central Florida’s Weeki Wachee Springs State Park with their fluid movements and synchronized ballet. Performing underwater has its challenges, including cold temperatures and a steady current, as VOA’s Lin Yang and Joseph Mok report.
    Video

    Video Somali, African Union Forces Face Resurgent Al-Shabab

    The Islamic State terror group claimed its first attack in Somalia earlier this week, though the claim has not been verified by forces on the ground. Meanwhile, al-Shabab militants have stepped up their attacks as Somalia prepares for elections later this year. Henry Ridgwell reports there are growing frustrations among Somalia’s Western backers over the country’s slow progress in forming its own armed forces to establish security after 25 years of chaos.
    Video

    Video Bangladesh Targeted Killings Spark Wave of Fear

    People in Bangladesh’s capital are expressing deep concern over the brutal attacks that have killed secular blogger, and most recently a gay rights activist and an employee of the U.S. embassy. Xulhaz Mannan, an embassy protocol officer and the editor of the country’s only gay and transgender magazine Roopban; and his friend Mehboob Rabbi Tanoy, a gay rights activist, were hacked to death by five attackers in Mannan’s Dhaka home earlier this month.
    Video

    Video Documentary Tells Tale of Chernobyl Returnees

    Ukraine this week is marking the 30th anniversary of the world's worst nuclear accident, at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant. Soviet officials at first said little about the accident, but later evacuated a 2,600-square-kilometer "exclusion zone." Some people, though, came back. American directors Holly Morris and Anne Bogart created a documentary about this faithful and brave community. VOA's Tetiana Kharchenko reports from New York on "The Babushkas of Chernobyl." Carol Pearson narrates.
    Video

    Video Nigerians Feel Bite of Buhari Economic Policy

    Despite the global drop in the price of oil, Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari has refused to allow the country's currency to devalue, leading to a shortage of foreign exchange. Chris Stein reports from Lagos businessmen and consumers are feeling the impact as the country deals with a severe fuel shortage.
    Video

    Video  Return to the Wild

    There’s a growing trend in the United States to let old or underused golf courses revert back to nature. But as Erika Celeste reports from one parcel in Grafton, Ohio, converting 39 hectares of land back to green space is a lot more complicated than just not mowing the fairway.
    Video

    Video West Urges Unity in Libya as Migrant Numbers Soar

    The Italian government says a NATO-led mission aimed at stemming the flow of migrants from Libya to Europe could be up and running by July. There are concerns that the number of migrants could soar as the route through Greece and the Balkans remains blocked. Western powers say the political chaos in Libya is being exploited by people smugglers — and they are pressuring rival groups to come together under the new unity government. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
    Video

    Video Russia’s TV Rain Swims Against Tide in Sea of Kremlin Propaganda

    Russia’s media freedoms have been gradually eroded under President Vladimir Putin as his government has increased state ownership, influence, and restrictions on critical reporting. Television, where most Russians get their news, has been the main target and is now almost completely state controlled. But in the Russian capital, TV Rain stands out as an island in a sea of Kremlin propaganda.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora