News / Africa

    Libya Cease-Fire Draws Skepticism as Emergency Summit Planned in France

    Member states vote to approve a resolution that will impose a no-fly zone over Libya during a meeting of the United Nations Security Council at U.N. headquarters, March 17, 2011
    Member states vote to approve a resolution that will impose a no-fly zone over Libya during a meeting of the United Nations Security Council at U.N. headquarters, March 17, 2011

    The leaders of Britain and France and the chiefs of the United Nations and Arab League will join other world leaders for an emergency summit on Libya.  French Foreign Ministry spokesman Bernard Valero said that Paris will host the meeting Saturday to talk about international intervention in Libya.

    The U.N. Security Council passed a resolution on Thursday warranting a no-fly zone over Libya. The next day, Friday, Libya's foreign minister announced an immediate cease-fire.

    But news of the cease-fire was met with skepticism. And, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said the U.S. must see "action on the ground," not just words from Libya.

    British Prime Minister David Cameron said Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi will be judged by his actions, not his words.  He said if Mr. Gadhafi does not stop brutalizing his people all necessary steps will be taken to make him stop.

    Earlier Friday, Mr. Cameron told British Members of Parliament that Britain will be moving fighter jets near the border with Libya within hours.

    "Our forces will join an international operation to enforce the resolution if Gadhafi fails to comply with its demand that he ends attacks on civilians," he said.

    Forces loyal to Mr. Gadhafi have been fighting rebels in a bloody battle that has lasted a month now.

    Britain and France have been at the forefront of a drive to intervene and were key to the U.N. resolution passed Thursday.

    That resolution allows for all necessary measures, short of a foreign occupation force, to defend civilians who are under threat of attack.

    Anthony Skinner, a Middle East expert with the risk analysis group Maplecroft, says Europe has been vital to the drive for intervention.

    He says right now public opinion in Britain and France seems to favor intervention, despite the fact that air strikes could mean civilian deaths in Libya.

    "Without a no-fly zone I think that the public at large also realizes that there would be an even greater blood bath with Gadhafi's forces marching and taking the whole country," Skinner said.

    He says right now it's unclear whether or not Mr. Gadhafi will be able to hold onto power.

    But he says if the no-fly zone is ineffective public support may turn against further action. Putting troops on the ground, he says, is rarely popular.

    "I'm sure that France and the U.K. are very mindful of that,"  he said. "As soon as you deploy forces it does shift the dimensions and it massively increases the risk."

    Skinner says the push by France and Britain for military intervention in Libya is in part because of their relatively close proximity to Libya and tight business relations with the oil-rich country.

    But not every European country favors intervention. Germany abstained from voting in the Thursday U.N. ballot and said it saw considerable risk in military intervention.

    Brazil, India, Russia and China also abstained from the vote.

    Germany said Friday that it's not isolated from its western allies.

    But John Kent, an expert in international relations at the London School of Economics, says the divisions within Europe over Libya show that European Union member states won't always see eye to eye on foreign affairs.

    He says action in Libya will reflect on the balance of power in Europe.

    "If in fact this is implemented successfully - and there has to be grave doubts about that - I think it will be a positive impact on the French and British position in Europe," he said. "If it all goes pear-shaped [wrong] for whatever reason, I think it would be more significant for enhancing the German position within Europe."

    Although details of Saturday's meeting have not been released, news reports say British Prime Minister David Cameron, U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, the Arab League's Amr Moussa, Spanish Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero and EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton are among those who have confirmed their presence at the talks.

    You May Like

    Saudi Arabia’s New Female Politicians in the Other Room 

    Many in Saudi Arabia say elected representatives should share unsegregated spaces; according to a recent survey, more than half the Saudi population, both men and women, prefer to work in a segregated place

    Russia Not ‘Apologetic’ for Syria Airstrikes

    With Moscow criticized for targeting armed opponents of President Assad, Russia’s UN envoy says his country ‘acting in a very transparent manner’

    Pakistan Warns of Islamic State's Growing Reach

    Aftab Sultan, General Director General of Intelligence Bureau (IB), briefed Senate Committee in closed hearing, saying that IS-linked groups have been expanding in Pakistan

    This forum has been closed.
    Comments
         
    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.
    Russia's Car Sales Shrink Overall, But Luxury and Economy Models See Growthi
    X
    February 10, 2016 5:54 AM
    Car sales in Russia dropped by more than a third in 2015 because of the country's economic woes. But, at the extreme ends of the car market, luxury vehicles and some economy brands are actually experiencing growth. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Moscow.
    Video

    Video Russia's Car Sales Shrink Overall, But Luxury and Economy Models See Growth

    Car sales in Russia dropped by more than a third in 2015 because of the country's economic woes. But, at the extreme ends of the car market, luxury vehicles and some economy brands are actually experiencing growth. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Moscow.
    Video

    Video Civil Rights Pioneer Remembers Struggle for Voting Rights

    February is Black History Month in the United States. The annual, month-long national observance pays tribute to important people and events that shaped the history of African Americans. VOA's Chris Simkins reports how one man fought against discrimination to help millions of blacks obtain the right to vote
    Video

    Video Jordanian Theater Group Stages Anti-Terrorism Message

    The lure of the self-styled “Islamic State” has many parents worried about their children who may be susceptible to the organization’s online propaganda. Dozens of Muslim communities in the Middle East are fighting back -- giving young adults alternatives to violence. One group in Jordan is using dramatic expression a send a family message. Mideast Broadcasting Network correspondent Haider Al Abdali shared this report with VOA. It’s narrated by Bronwyn Benito
    Video

    Video Migrant Crisis Fuels Debate Over Britain’s Future in EU

    The migrant crisis in Europe is fueling the debate in Britain ahead of a referendum on staying in the European Union that may be held this year. Prime Minister David Cameron warns that leaving the EU could lead to thousands more migrants arriving in the country. Meanwhile, tension is rising in Calais, France, where thousands of migrants are living in squalid camps. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
    Video

    Video Valentine's Day Stinks for Lebanese Clowns

    This weekend, on Valentine's Day in Lebanon, love is not the only thing in the air. More than half a year after the country's trash crisis began, the stink of uncollected garbage remains on the streets. Step forward "Clown Me In," a group of clowns who use their skills for activism. Before the most romantic day of the year the clowns have released their unusual take on love in Lebanon -- in a bid to keep the pressure up and get the trash off the streets. John Owens reports from Beirut.
    Video

    Video Families Flee Aleppo for Kurdish Regions in Syria

    Not all who flee the fighting in Aleppo are trying to cross the border into Turkey. A VOA reporter caught up with several families heading for Kurdish-held areas of northern Syria.
    Video

    Video Rocky Year Ahead for Nigeria Amid Oil Price Crash

    The global fall in the price of oil has rattled the economies of many petroleum exporters, and Africa’s oil king Nigeria is no exception. As Chris Stein reports from Lagos, analysts are predicting a rough year ahead for the continent’s top producer of crude.
    Video

    Video 'No Means No' Program Targets Sexual Violence in Kenya

    The organizers of an initiative to reduce and stop rape in the informal settlements around Kenya's capital say their program is having marked success. Girls are taking self-defense classes while the boys are learning how to protect the girls and respect them. Lenny Ruvaga reports from Nairobi.
    Video

    Video Chocolate Lovers Get a Sweet History Lesson

    Observed in many countries around the world, Valentine’s Day is sometimes celebrated with chocolate festivals. But at a festival near Washington, the visitors experience a bit more than a sugar rush. They go on a sweet journey through history. VOA’s June Soh takes us to the festival.
    Video

    Video 'Smart' Bandages Could Heal Wounds More Quickly

    Simple bandages are usually seen as the first line of attack in healing small to moderate wounds and burns. But scientists say new synthetic materials with embedded microsensors could turn bandages into a much more valuable tool for emergency physicians. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Researchers Use 3-D Printer to Produce Transplantable Body Parts

    Human organ transplants have become fairly common around the world in the past few decades. Researchers at various universities are coordinating their efforts to find solutions -- including teams at the University of Pennsylvania and Rice University in Houston that are experimenting with a 3-D printer -- to make blood vessels and other structures for implant. As VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Houston, they are also using these artificial body parts to seek ways of defeating cancerous tumors.
    Video

    Video Helping the Blind 'See' Great Art

    There are 285 million blind and visually impaired people in the world who are unable to enjoy visual art at a museum. One New York photographer is trying to fix this situation by making tangible copies of the world’s masterpieces. VOA correspondent Victoria Kupchinetsky was there as visually impaired people got a feel for great art. Joy Wagner narrates her report.
    Video

    Video German Artists to Memorialize Refugees With Life Jacket Exhibit

    Sold in every kind of shop in some Turkish port towns, life jackets have become a symbol of the refugee crisis that brought a million people to Europe in 2015.  On the shores of Lesbos, Greece, German artists collect discarded life jackets as they prepare an art installation they plan to display in Germany.  For VOA, Hamada Elrasam has this report from Lesbos, Greece.
    Video

    Video E-readers Help Ease Africa's Book Shortage

    Millions of people in Africa can't read, and there's a chronic shortage of books. A non-profit organization called Worldreader is trying to help change all that one e-reader at a time. VOA’s Deborah Block tells us about a girls' school in Nairobi, Kenya where Worldreader is making a difference.