News / Africa

    Libya Support Group to Convene in Paris

    Mustafa Abdel Jalil, chairman of the Libyan National Transitional Council, NTC. (file photo)
    Mustafa Abdel Jalil, chairman of the Libyan National Transitional Council, NTC. (file photo)

    U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and officials from about 50 other countries are set to convene in Paris on Thursday to discuss Libya’s transition to post-Gadhafi democratic rule.  The head of Libya’s National Transitional Council, Mustafa Abdel Jalil, is expected to outline the NTC’s immediate needs.

    France called the meeting a week ago as NTC forces moved into Tripoli.  Now, with Moammar Gadhafi's rule at an end, the conference will focus on how to help Libya establish stable democratic governance.

    The list of participants for the “Friends of Libya” conference has grown significantly in recent days to include key countries like Russia and China, which have not recognized the NTC as Libya’s new governing authority.

    Secretary of State Clinton, who has interrupted her summer vacation to attend, says the weeks ahead will be “critical” for Libya and that the world community needs to act “decisively” to help the NTC.  But she says the transition must be Libyan-led.

    State Department Spokeswoman Victoria Nuland says NTC chief Jalil’s presentation at the meeting will be pivotal.

    “One of the things that we expect to hear at this meeting is a report from the Transitional National Council on how it sees moving forward, what it wants for the international community -- including how it wants to work with the [U.N.] Security Council on the appropriate unwinding of [U.N. resolutions] 1970 and 1973," Nuland said.

    Those United Nations  resolutions imposed sanctions against Moammar Gadhafi's government and authorized the NATO-led air campaign that helped oust the longtime ruler.

    The United States and other countries have begun the process of releasing frozen Libyan assets through the U.N. Sanctions Committee.

    But some leading members of the U.S. Congress want Secretary Clinton to withhold the money unless the NTC agrees to give up Abdel Baset al-Megrahi, the Libyan convicted in the 1988 bombing of a U.S. PanAm jetliner over Scotland.

    The NTC has told the United States it will revisit the case against Megrahi, who was returned to Libya from Scotland in 2009 on humanitarian grounds and is reported in grave condition in Tripoli with cancer.

    Nuland says the NTC has more urgent priorities than the Megrahi case. “We need to give the TNC a chance to do job one, which is to finish the job of ousting Gadhafi and his regime, begin the job of establishing Libya on a democratic path.  And we are very gratified by the fact that they have made clear they are willing to look into this,” she said.

    A key issue in Paris will be the question of a peacekeeping presence in Libya.

    Ian Martin, special advisor to U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on post-conflict planning, says the National Transitional Council's interest is in foreign advice, not troops. “In our discussions with the NTC, it is very clear that the Libyans want to avoid any military deployment by the U.N. or others. They are very seriously interested in assistance with policing to get the public security situation under control and gradually develop a democratically accountable public security force,” Martin said.

    Human rights groups say the Paris conferees must press the NTC to avoid reprisals against Gadhafi loyalists, while seeking accountability for serious human rights violations during the Gadhafi era.

    Sarah Leah Whitson, Middle East and North Africa Director at Human Rights Watch, says major responsibilities come with political recognition of the NTC.  “Number one among them is going to be avoiding retribution and reprisal killings against Gadhafi forces or against alleged or feared Gadhafi supporters.  Because certainly, as you can imagine, there is a lot of anger and rage that’s built up over the past several months and over the past 40 years," Whitson said.

    Whitson says the former Libyan leader and his key associates, who face international war crimes charges and are still at large, must be treated with due process in accordance with international law.

    You May Like

    Video Russia's Expat Community Shrinking

    Russia's troubled economy, tensions with West have led hundreds of thousands of foreigners to leave for better opportunities

    Accelerating the Push Against Islamic State: What Will Work?

    Experts stress need to step up military action, address root causes of Muslims' disaffection, counter IS social media messages in a massive way

    Experts: N. Korean Abductions Sought to Halt Brain Drain

    Pyongyang abducted about 3,800 South Koreans and more than a dozen Japanese nationals in late 1970s

    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.
    German Artists to Memorialize Refugees With Life Jacket Exhibiti
    X
    Hamada Elsaram
    February 05, 2016 4:30 PM
    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 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.
    Video

    Video Genius Lets World Share Its Knowledge

    Inspired by crowdsourcing companies like Wikipedia, Genius allows anyone to edit anything on the web, using its web annotation tool
    Video

    Video Former Drug CEO Martin Shkreli Angers US Lawmakers

    A former U.S. pharmaceutical business executive has angered lawmakers by refusing to explain why he raised the price of a life-saving pill by 5,000 percent. Martin Shkreli was removed from a congressional hearing on Thursday after citing his Fifth Amendment right to stay silent. Zlatica Hoke has more.
    Video

    Video Super Bowl TV Commercials are Super Business for Advertisers

    The Super Bowl, the championship clash between the two top teams in American Football, is the most-watched sporting event of the year, and advertisers are lining up and paying big bucks to get their commercials on the air. In fact, the TV commercials during the Super Bowl have become one of the most anticipated and popular features of the event. VOA's Brian Allen has a sneak peek of what you can expect to see when the big game goes to commercial break, and the real entertainment begins.
    Video

    Video In Philippines, Mixed Feelings About Greater US Military Presence

    In the Philippines, some who will be directly affected by a recent Supreme Court decision clearing the way for more United States troop visits are having mixed reactions.  The increased rotations come at a time when the Philippines is trying to build up its military in the face of growing maritime assertiveness from China.  From Bahile, Palawan on the coast of the South China Sea, Simone Orendain has this story.
    Video

    Video Microcephaly's Connection to Zika: Guilty Until Proven Innocent

    The Zika virus rarely causes problems for the people who get it, but it seems to be having a devastating impact on babies whose mothers are infected with Zika. VOA's Carol Pearson has more.
    Video

    Video Solar Innovation Provides Cheap, Clean Energy to Kenya Residents

    In Kenya, a company called M-Kopa Solar is providing clean energy to more than 300,000 homes across East Africa by allowing customers to "pay-as-you-go" via their cell phones. As Lenny Ruvaga reports from Kangemi, customers pay a small deposit for a solar unit and then pay less than a dollar a day to get clean energy to light up their homes or businesses.
    Video

    Video Stunning Artworks Attract Record Crowds, Thanks to Social Media

    A new exhibit at the oldest art museum in America is shattering attendance records. Thousands of visitors are lining up to see nine giant works of art that have gotten a much-deserved shot of viral marketing. The 150-year-old Smithsonian American Art Museum has never had a response quite like this. VOA's Julie Taboh reports.
    Video

    Video Apprenticeships Put Americans on Path Back to Work

    Trying to get more people into the U.S. workforce, the Obama administration last year announced $175 million in grants towards apprenticeship programs. VOA White House correspondent Aru Pande went inside one training center outside of Washington that has gained national recognition for helping put people on the path to employment.
    Video

    Video New Material May Reduce Concussion Effects

    As the 2016 National Football League season reaches its summit at the Super Bowl this coming Sunday (2/7), scientists are trying to learn how to more effectively protect football players from dangerous and damaging concussions. Researchers at Cardiff and Cambridge Universities say their origami-based material may solve the problem. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Saudi Arabian Women's Sports Chip Away at Stereotypes

    Saudi Arabian female athletes say that sports are on the front line of busting traditions that quash women’s voices, both locally and internationally. In their hometown of Jeddah, a group of basketball players say that by connecting sports to health issues, they are encouraging women and girls to get out of their homes and participate in public life. VOA’s Heather Murdock reports.
    Video

    Video A Year Later, Fortunes Mixed for Syrians Forging New Lives in Berlin

    In April of last year, VOA followed the progress of six young Syrian refugees -- four brothers and their two friends -- as they made their way from Libya to Italy by boat, and eventually to Germany. Reporter Henry Ridgwell caught up with the refugees again in Berlin, as they struggle to forge new lives amid the turmoil of Europe's refugee crisis.
    Video

    Video Zika Virus May be Hard to Stop

    With the Zika virus spreading rapidly, the World Health Organization Monday declared Zika a global health emergency. As Alberto Pimienta reports, for many governments and experts, the worst is yet to come.