News / Africa

Libya Analyst: Rebels ‘Emboldened’ by Apparent Victory

A rebel holds his ears as a bomb launched by a Libyan air force jet loyal to Libya's leader Muammar Gaddafi explodes in the desert near Brega, March 2, 2011
A rebel holds his ears as a bomb launched by a Libyan air force jet loyal to Libya's leader Muammar Gaddafi explodes in the desert near Brega, March 2, 2011


  • Clottey interview with Claude Salhani, official of G-Risk, an international risk assessment organization

Peter Clottey

An official of G-Risk, an international risk assessment organization, says Libya’s anti-government protesters have been psychologically emboldened after the group fought off an attempt by forces loyal to embattled leader Moammar Gadhafi to reclaim Brega, an oil town in the eastern part of the country.

Claude Salhani says, despite the anti-government protesters’ victory, the international community is unlikely to provide them with precision bombs or implement a “no-fly zone” that would serve as a deterrent to the forces loyal to Gadhafi.

“It gives them a lot of encouragement to keep going. It’s a major victory for them; it shows that they are on the right track, and it motivates and re-energizes them. They need every little bit they can get to keep going in the face of the ongoing onslaught put up on them by Gadhafi,” said Salhani.

In several interviews, the anti-government protesters have asked the international community for precision bombs, as well as a no-fly zone, to prevent efforts by Gadhafi loyalists to attack or retake parts of the country in their control.

“Before a no-fly zone can be put into place, you will need a U.N. Security Council resolution and that resolution will never be approved by China and or Russia, for the simple reason that they don’t want to set a precedent of giving NATO or the United States and its NATO allies the green light to intervene anywhere in the world and become world policemen. They might be on the receiving end one day and that’s the main reason they will reject that,” said Salhani.

Libyan rebels clashed with pro-government forces in eastern Libya Wednesday. The fighting included ground clashes and airstrikes by Libyan military planes.

Witnesses said pro-Gadhafi forces stormed into Brega on the Gulf of Sirte and briefly seized its oil installations and an airstrip. Opposition fighters say they recaptured the sites. Later, Western media reported loud booms that they linked to at least two bombings from Libyan aircraft.

Salhani says there are strong indications the anti-government protesters would not accept any attempts by the Libyan regime to hold negotiations with them to end the fighting.

“How do you negotiate with a regime like that since it’s out to kill you? He [Gadhafi] said it very clearly that ‘I rule you, or I kill you.’ How do you negotiate with someone like that? I don’t see him sitting down face to face with his opponents. He will kill them, or they will kill him,” he said.

Gadhafi delivered a televised speech Wednesday to supporters in Tripoli saying he could not resign because he holds no political office in a system that, he said, puts all power in the hands of the people.

However, protesters in the rebel-controlled eastern city of Benghazi called for Gadhafi's resignation. They chanted anti-Gadhafi slogans as they burned copies of his “Green Book.” Libya has no formal constitution, but Gadhafi often refers to the publication, which outlines his political and economic philosophy for the country.

You May Like

Isolation, Despair Weigh on Refugees in Remote German Camp

Refugees resettled near village of Holzdorf deep in German forestland say there is limited interaction with public, mutual feelings of distrust

Britons Divided Over Bombing IS

Surveys show Europeans generally support more military action against Islamic State militants, but sizable opposition exists in Britain

Russia Blacklists Soros Foundations as 'Undesirable'

Russian officials add Soros groups to a list of foreign and international organizations banned from giving grants to Russian partners

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

By the Numbers

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
With HIV, Can We Get to Zero?i
Carol Pearson
November 29, 2015 1:23 PM
The theme of this year's World AIDS Day is "Getting to Zero." The U.N. says new HIV infections have been reduced by 35 percent since 2000 and AIDS-related deaths are down by 42 percent since the peak in 2004. VOA's Carol Pearson takes a look at what it might take to actually have an AIDS-free generation.

Video With HIV, Can We Get to Zero?

The theme of this year's World AIDS Day is "Getting to Zero." The U.N. says new HIV infections have been reduced by 35 percent since 2000 and AIDS-related deaths are down by 42 percent since the peak in 2004. VOA's Carol Pearson takes a look at what it might take to actually have an AIDS-free generation.

Video Political Motives Seen Behind Cancelled Cambodian Water Festival

For the fourth time in the five years since more than 350 people were killed in a stampede at Cambodia’s annual water festival, authorities canceled the event this year. Officials blamed environmental reasons as the cause, but many see it as fallout from rising political tensions with a fresh wave of ruling party intimidation against the opposition. David Boyle and Kimlong Meng report from Phnom Penh.

Video African Circus Gives At-Risk Youth a 2nd Chance

Ethiopia hosted the first African Circus Arts Festival this past weekend with performers from seven different African countries. Most of the performers are youngsters coming form challenging backgrounds who say the circus gave them a second chance.

Video US Lawmakers Brace for End-of-Year Battles

U.S. lawmakers are returning to Washington for Congress’ final working weeks of the year. And, as VOA's Michael Bowman reports, a full slate of legislative business awaits them, from keeping the federal government open to resolving a battle with the White House over the admittance of Syrian refugees.

Video Taiwan Looks for Role in South China Sea Dispute

The Taiwanese government is one of several that claims territory in the hotly contested South China Sea, but Taipei has long been sidelined in the dispute, overshadowed by China. Now, as the Philippines challenges Beijing’s claims in an international court at The Hague, Taipei is looking to publicly assert its claims. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.

Video After Terrorist Attacks, Support for Refugees Fades

The terrorists who killed and injured almost 500 people around Paris this month are mostly French or Belgian nationals. But at least two apparently took advantage of Europe’s migrant crisis to sneak into the region. The discovery has hardened views about legitimate refugees, including those fleeing the same extremist violence that hit the French capital. Lisa Bryant has this report for VOA from the Paris suburb of Cergy-Pontoise

Video Syrian Refugees in US Express Concern for Those Left Behind

Syrian immigrants in the United States are concerned about the negative tide of public opinion and the politicians who want to block a U.S. plan to accept 10,000 Syrian refugees. Zlatica Hoke reports many Americans are fighting to dispel suspicions linking refugees to terrorists.

Video Thais Send Security Concerns Down the River

As Thailand takes in the annual Loy Krathong festival, many ponder the country’s future and security. Steve Sandford reports from Chiang Mai.

Video Islamic State Unfazed by Losses in Iraq, Syria

Progress in the U.S.-led effort to beat Islamic State on its home turf in Iraq and Syria has led some to speculate the terror group may be growing desperate. But counterterror officials say that is not the case, and warn the recent spate of terror attacks is merely part of the group’s evolution. VOA National Security correspondent Jeff Seldin has more.

Video Belgium-Germany Border Remains Porous, Even As Manhunt For Paris Attacker Continues

One of the suspected gunmen in the Nov. 13 Paris attacks, Salah Abdeslam, evaded law enforcement, made his way to Belgium, and is now believed to have fled to Germany. VOA correspondent Ayesha Tanzeem makes the journey across the border from Belgium into Germany to see how porous the borders really are.

Video US, Cambodian Navies Pair Up in Gulf of Thailand

The U.S. Navy has deployed one of its newest and most advanced ships to Cambodia to conduct joint training drills in the Gulf of Thailand. Riding hull-to-hull with Cambodian ships, the seamen of the USS Fort Worth are executing joint-training drills that will help build relations in Southeast Asia. David Boyle reports for VOA from Preah Sihanouk province.

Video Uncertain Future for Syrian Refugee Resettlement in Illinois

For the trickle of Syrian refugees finding new homes in the Midwest city of Chicago, the call to end resettlement in many U.S. states is adding another dimension to their long journey fleeing war. Organizations working to help them integrate say the backlash since the Paris attacks is both harming and helping their efforts to provide refugees sanctuary. VOA's Kane Farabaugh reports.

VOA Blogs