News / Africa

Gadhafi Warns Rebels to Surrender As UN Prepares to Vote

Plumes of smoke rising into the sky at Benina, a civilian and military airport, outside Benghazi in eastern Libya, Mar 17 2011
Plumes of smoke rising into the sky at Benina, a civilian and military airport, outside Benghazi in eastern Libya, Mar 17 2011

Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi has warned rebels in the eastern city of Benghazi to surrender or face an imminent government assault. He issued the warning on Thursday, just hours before the U.N. Security Council was due to vote on establishing a "no-fly" zone over Libya.

In an address broadcast on state radio, Mr. Gadhafi said his forces will enter the rebel stronghold Thursday night and search every home. He offered an amnesty to rebels who give up their weapons and said those who do not will be treated with "no mercy."

Mr. Gadhafi predicted a swift end to the monthlong uprising against his 42-year rule, saying "we are in the last few hours of this tragedy."

The U.N. Security Council was expected to vote at  22:00 UTC ((6 p.m. Eastern time)) on a resolution that would authorize "all necessary measures" to enforce a no-fly zone over Libya and protect civilians from bombardment by pro-Gadhafi forces. The draft also ruled out any occupation of Libya by foreign forces.

The resolution is sponsored by Britain, France and Lebanon and has the support of the United States and Arab League. Western diplomats said they hope to achieve as many votes in favor of the document as possible. Arab diplomats say Qatar and the United Arab Emirates may join Western powers in enforcing a no-fly zone.

Libyan state television warned that any military action against the country will "expose all air and maritime traffic in the Mediterranean to danger." It said any civilian and military traffic in the region will become the target of a Libyan counter-offensive.

Libyan rebels say they shot down two government warplanes that tried to bomb Benghazi earlier Thursday. Hundreds of residents gathered in a main square in the city later Thursday, waving pre-Gadhafi era flags in defiance of the Libyan leader's threats.

Earlier, pro-Gadhafi forces launched airstrikes on nearby Ajdabiya and surrounded rebels holding out in the town, located to the south of Benghazi, on the edge of opposition-controlled territory.

Reports from Ajdabiya said about 30 people have been killed in fighting there since Tuesday. In the west, Libyan state television said government troops recaptured Misrata, the country's third largest city. Rebels denied the claim.

Meanwhile, the African Union announced on Thursday that it would convene a panel in Mauritania on Saturday to discuss Libya's conflict. The panel will look for ways to launch dialogue to resolve the crisis.

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

You May Like

UN Ambassador Power Highlights Plight of Women Prisoners

She launches the 'Free the 20' campaign, aimed at profiling women being deprived of their freedom around the world More

Satellite Launch Sparks Spectacular Light Show

A slight delay in a satellite launch lit up the Florida sky early this morning More

Fleeing IS Killings in Syria, Family Reaches Bavaria

Exhausted, scared and under-nourished, Khalil and Maha's tale mirrors those of thousands of refugees from war-torn countries who have left their homes in the hopes of finding a better life 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.
Nobel Prize Winner Malala Talks to VOAi
X
August 31, 2015 2:17 AM
Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai met with VOA's Deewa service in Washington Sunday to talk about women’s rights and unveil a trailer for her new documentary. VOA's Katherine Gypson has more.
Video

Video Nobel Prize Winner Malala Talks to VOA

Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai met with VOA's Deewa service in Washington Sunday to talk about women’s rights and unveil a trailer for her new documentary. VOA's Katherine Gypson has more.
Video

Video War, Drought Threaten Iraq's Marshlands

Iraq's southern wetlands are in crisis. These areas are the spawning ground for Gulf fisheries, a resting place for migrating wildfowl, and source of livelihood for fishermen and herders. Faith Lapidus has more.
Video

Video Colombians Flee Venezuela as Border Crisis Escalates

Hundreds of Colombians have fled Venezuela since last week, amid an escalating border crisis between the two countries. Last week, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro ordered the closure of a key border crossing after smugglers injured three Venezuelan soldiers and a civilian. The president also ordered the deportation of Colombians who are in Venezuela illegally. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Rebuilding New Orleans' Music Scene

Ten years after Hurricane Katrina inundated New Orleans, threatening to wash away its vibrant musical heritage along with its neighborhoods, the beat goes on. As Bronwyn Benito and Faith Lapidus report, a Musicians' Village is preserving the city's unique sound.
Video

Video In Russia, Auto Industry in Tailspin

Industry insiders say country relies too heavily on imports as inflation cuts too many consumers out of the market. Daniel Schearf has more from Moscow.
Video

Video Scientist Calls Use of Fetal Tissue in Medical Research Essential

An anti-abortion group responsible for secret recordings of workers at a women's health care organization claims the workers shown are offering baby parts for sale, a charge the organization strongly denies. While the selling of fetal tissue is against the law in the United States, abortion and the use of donated fetal tissue for medical research are both legal. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
Video

Video Next to Iran, Climate at Forefront of Obama Agenda

President Barack Obama this week announced new initiatives aimed at making it easier for Americans to access renewable energy sources such as solar and wind. Obama is not slowing down when it comes to pushing through climate change measures, an issue he says is the greatest threat to the country’s national security. VOA correspondent Aru Pande has more from the White House.
Video

Video Arctic Draws International Competition for Oil

A new geopolitical “Great Game” is underway in earth’s northernmost region, the Arctic, where Russia has claimed a large area for resource development and President Barack Obama recently approved Shell Oil Company’s test-drilling project in an area under U.S. control. Greg Flakus reports.
Video

Video Philippine Maritime Police: Chinese Fishermen a Threat to Country’s Security

China and the Philippines both claim maritime rights in the South China Sea.  That includes the right to fish in those waters. Jason Strother reports on how the Philippines is catching Chinese nationals it says are illegal poachers. He has the story from Palawan province.
Video

Video China's Spratly Island Building Said to Light Up the Night 'Like A City'

Southeast Asian countries claim China has illegally seized territory in the Spratly islands. It is especially a concern for a Philippine mayor who says Beijing is occupying parts of his municipality. Jason Strother reports from the capital of Palawan province, Puerto Princesa.
Video

Video Ages-old Ice Reveals Secrets of Climate Change

Ice caps don't just exist at the world's poles. There are also tropical ice caps, and the largest sits atop the Peruvian Andes - but it is melting, quickly, and may be gone within the next 20 years. George Putic reports scientists are now rushing to take samples to get at the valuable information about climate change locked in the ice.

VOA Blogs