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

China May Be Biggest Winner From Ukraine Crisis

Missile sales, oil and gas shipments are among many areas that may drive Beijing and Moscow closer together in coming years More

Obama Faces Chaotic World, Limits of Power

Current foreign policy issues bring into focus challenges for US policymakers who are mindful of Americans' waning appetite for overseas military engagements More

SADC Meeting Lesotho Officials to Resolve Stalemate

Official says regional bloc has been engaged with leaders in Lesotho to resolve political disagreement that led to coup attempt 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.
West Africa Ebola Vaccine Trials Possible by Early 2015i
X
Carol Pearson
August 30, 2014 7:14 PM
A U.S. health agency is speeding up clinical trials of a possible vaccine against the deadly Ebola virus that so far has killed more than 1,500 people in West Africa. If successful, the next step would be a larger trial in countries where the outbreak is occurring. VOA's Carol Pearson has more.
Video

Video West Africa Ebola Vaccine Trials Possible by Early 2015

A U.S. health agency is speeding up clinical trials of a possible vaccine against the deadly Ebola virus that so far has killed more than 1,500 people in West Africa. If successful, the next step would be a larger trial in countries where the outbreak is occurring. VOA's Carol Pearson has more.
Video

Video Survivors Commemorate 70th Anniversary of Nazi Liquidation of Jewish Ghetto

When the German Nazi army occupied the Polish city of Lodz in 1939, it marked the beginning of a long nightmare for the Jewish community that once made up one third of the population. Roughly 200,000 people were forced into the Lodz Ghetto. Less than 7,000 survived. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, some survivors gathered at the Union League Club in Chicago on the 70th anniversary of the liquidation of the Lodz Ghetto to remember those who suffered at the hands of the Nazi regime.
Video

Video Cost to Raise Child in US Continues to Rise

The cost of raising a child in the United States continues to rise. In its latest annual report, the U.S. Department of Agriculture says middle income families with a child born in 2013 can expect to spend more than $240,000 before that child turns 18. And sending that child to college more than doubles that amount. VOA’s Deborah Block visited with a couple with one child in Alexandria, Virginia, to learn if the report reflects their lifestyle.
Video

Video Chaotic Afghan Vote Recount Threatens Nation’s Future

Afghanistan’s troubled presidential election continues to be rocked by turmoil as an audit of the ballots drags on. The U.N. says the recount will not be completed before September 10. Observers say repeated disputes and delays are threatening the orderly transfer of power and could have dangerous consequences. VOA correspondent Meredith Buel reports.
Video

Video Ukraine Battles Pro-Russia Rebel Assault

After NATO concluded an emergency meeting to discuss the crisis in eastern Ukraine, the country is struggling to contain heavy fighting near the strategic port of Mariupol, on the Azov Sea. Separatist rebels are trying to capture the city, allegedly with Russian military help, and Ukraine's defense forces are digging in. VOA's Daniel Schearf spoke with analysts about what lies ahead for Ukraine.
Video

Video Growing Business Offers Paint with a Twist of Wine

Two New Orleans area women started a small business seven years ago with one thing in mind: to help their neighbors relieve the stress of coping with a hurricane's aftermath. Today their business, which pairs painting and a little bit of wine, has become one of the fastest growing franchises across the U.S. VOA’s June Soh met the entrepreneurs at their newest franchise location in the Washington suburbs.
Video

Video Ebola Vaccine Trials To Begin Next Week

The National Institutes of Health says it is launching early stage trials of a vaccine to prevent the Ebola virus, which has infected or killed thousands of people across West Africa. The World Health Organization says Ebola could infect more than 20,000 people across the region by the time the outbreak is over. The epidemic has health experts and governments scrambling to prevent more people from becoming infected. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video Asian Bacteria Threatens Florida Orange Trees

Florida's citrus fruit industry is facing a serious threat from a bacteria carried by the Asian insect called psyllid. The widespread infestation again highlights the danger of transferring non-native species to American soil. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Aging Will Reduce Economic Growth Worldwide in Coming Decades

The world is getting older, fast. And as more people retire each year, fewer working-age people will be there to replace them. Bond rating agency Moody’s says that will lead to a decline in household savings; reducing global investments - which in turn, will lead to slower economic growth around the world. But experts say it’s not too late to mitigate the economic impact of the world’s aging populations. Mil Arcega has more.
Video

Video Is West Doing Enough to Tackle Islamic State?

U.S. President Barack Obama has ruled out sending ground troops to Iraq to fight militants of the so-called Islamic State, or ISIS, despite officials in Washington describing the extremist group as the biggest threat the United States has faced in years. Henry Ridgwell reports from London on the growing uncertainty over whether the West’s response to ISIS will be enough to defeat the terrorist threat.
Video

Video Coalition to Fight Islamic State Could Reward Assad

The United States along with European and Mideast allies are considering a broader assault against Islamic State fighters who have spread from Syria into Iraq and risk further destabilizing an already troubled region. But as VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns reports, confronting those militants could end up helping the embattled Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.
Video

Video Made in America Socks Get Toehold in Online Fashion Market

Three young entrepreneurs are hoping to revolutionize the high-end sock industry by introducing all-American creations of their own. And they’re doing most of it the old-fashioned way. VOA’s Julie Taboh recently caught up with them to learn what goes into making their one-of-a-kind socks.
Video

Video Americans, Ex-Pats Send Relief Supplies to West Africa

Health organizations from around the world are sending supplies and specialists to the West African countries that are dealing with the worst Ebola outbreak in history. On a smaller scale, ordinary Americans and African expatriates living in the United States are doing the same. VOA's Carol Pearson reports.

AppleAndroid