News / Africa

    Libyan Forces Close in on Sirte

    A member of the forces loyal to Libya's interim rulers flashes the victory sign as he prepares for an assault on Moammar Gaddafi's hometown Sirte September 24, 2011.
    A member of the forces loyal to Libya's interim rulers flashes the victory sign as he prepares for an assault on Moammar Gaddafi's hometown Sirte September 24, 2011.

    Libyan interim government forces backed by NATO warplanes have tightened their siege on Moammar Gadhafi's hometown of Sirte, as hundreds of civilians attempted to flee the city through increasingly tense security checkpoints.

    Anti-Gadhafi troops raced through Sirte's eastern outskirts Monday while NATO jets bombed loyalist positions for the third consecutive day. Scores of civilians in cars laden with personal belongings continued to exit the city in multiple directions.

    National Transitional Council fighters from Misrata distributed food and water to fleeing families, but also pulled suspected loyalists from a column of civilians fleeing Sirte to the west. The Misrata fighters checked names of refugees against lists of suspected Gadhafi loyalists. Some were arrested.

    Fleeing civilians said fighters on both sides are often motivated by vengeance. Others described grave shortages of food, fuel, drinking water and medicine in Sirte as medics warned of a growing health crisis. International aid groups are demanding access to the city.

    Libya's interim justice minister said Monday he has approved a measure to abolish the country's state security courts used by Mr. Gadhafi to imprison political dissidents.

    Mohammed al-Alagi said his proposal, drafted by judicial experts, will be forwarded shortly to NTC leaders for approval. The state security system jailed or executed thousands of people suspected of opposing Mr. Gadhafi's four-decade-long rule.

    Libyans are pushing forward with efforts to disband some of the most reviled elements of the ousted leader's government, even while fighting continues and Mr. Gadhafi's whereabouts remain unknown.

    Also Monday, Libya's interim prime minister asked the U.N. Security Council to lift remaining sanctions on his country.

    Mahmoud Jibril told the Council in New York that sanctions are hindering the NTC's ability to provide basic services to citizens. The Security Council already has unfrozen $16 billion in Libyan assets, and the NTC hopes to gain access to more funds that remain locked.

    On Sunday, Libya's interim rulers said they found a mass grave believed to hold the remains of 1,270 inmates killed by security forces in a notorious 1996 massacre.

    Investigators used information obtained from witnesses and former Gadhafi officials to find the field scattered with bone fragments at Tripoli's Abu Salim prison. Authorities believe the bodies were kept in the prison before they were buried in 2000 just outside the building's walls.

    Most of the inmates killed were political prisoners, including Islamic clerics and students who had dared to speak out against Mr. Gadhafi. In June 1996, they rioted to protest conditions at the facility and were gunned down by forces directed by some of Mr. Gadhafi's inner circle.

    You May Like

    US Leaders Who Served in Vietnam War Look Back and Ahead

    In New York Times opinion piece, Secretary of State John Kerry, Senator John McCain and former Senator Bob Kerrey say as US strengthens relations with Vietnam, it is important to remember lessons learned from war

    Trans-Adriatic Pipeline to Boost European Energy Security

    $4.5 billion-pipeline will become operational in 2020 and will deliver gas from Azerbaijan’s Shah Deniz II field to southern Italy

    Video California Celebration Showcases Local Wines, Balloons

    Annual festival showcases the region's harvested agriculture, fine wines and offers opportunities to experience the gentle breeze in a hot air balloon flight

    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.
    Vietnamese-American Youth Optimistic About Obama's Visit to Vietnami
    X
    Elizabeth Lee
    May 22, 2016 6:04 AM
    U.S. President Barack Obama's visit to Vietnam later this month comes at a time when Vietnam is seeking stronger ties with the United States. Many Vietnamese Americans, especially the younger generation, are optimistic Obama’s trip will help further reconciliation between the two former foes. Elizabeth Lee has more from the community called "Little Saigon" located south of Los Angeles.
    Video

    Video Vietnamese-American Youth Optimistic About Obama's Visit to Vietnam

    U.S. President Barack Obama's visit to Vietnam later this month comes at a time when Vietnam is seeking stronger ties with the United States. Many Vietnamese Americans, especially the younger generation, are optimistic Obama’s trip will help further reconciliation between the two former foes. Elizabeth Lee has more from the community called "Little Saigon" located south of Los Angeles.
    Video

    Video First-generation, Afghan-American Student Sets Sights on Basketball Glory

    Their parents are immigrants to the United States. They are kids who live between two worlds -- their parents' homeland and the U.S. For many of them, they feel most "American" at school. It can be tricky balancing both worlds. In this report, produced by Beth Mendelson, Arash Arabasadi tells us about one Afghan-American student who seems to be coping -- one shot at a time.
    Video

    Video Newest US Citizens, Writing the Next Great Chapter

    While universities across the United States honor their newest graduates this Friday, many immigrants in downtown Manhattan are celebrating, too. One hundred of them, representing 31 countries across four continents, graduated as U.S. citizens, joining the ranks of 680,000 others every year in New York and cities around the country.
    Video

    Video Vietnam Sees Strong Economic Growth Despite Incomplete Reforms

    Vietnam has transformed its communist economy to become one of the world's fastest-growing nations. While the reforms are incomplete, multinational corporations see a profitable future in Vietnam and have made major investments -- as VOA's Jim Randle reports.
    Video

    Video Qatar Denies World Cup Corruption

    The head of Qatar’s organizing committee for the 2022 World Cup insists his country's bid to host the soccer tournament was completely clean, despite the corruption scandals that have rocked the sport’s governing body, FIFA. Hassan Al-Thawadi also said new laws would offer protection to migrants working on World Cup construction projects. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
    Video

    Video Infrastructure Funding Puts Cambodia on Front Line of International Politics

    When leaders of the world’s seven most developed economies meet in Japan next week, demands for infrastructure investment world wide will be high on the agenda. Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s push for “quality infrastructure investment” throughout Asia has been widely viewed as a counter to the rise of Chinese investment flooding into region.
    Video

    Video Democrats Fear Party Unity a Casualty in Clinton-Sanders Battle

    Democratic presidential front-runner Hillary Clinton claimed a narrow victory in Tuesday's Kentucky primary even as rival Bernie Sanders won in Oregon. Tensions between the two campaigns are rising, prompting fears that the party will have a difficult time unifying to face the presumptive Republican nominee, Donald Trump. VOA national correspondent Jim Malone has more from Washington.
    Video

    Video Portrait of a Transgender Marriage: Husband and Wife Navigate New Roles

    As controversy continues in North Carolina over the use of public bathrooms by transgender individuals, personal struggles with gender identity that were once secret are now coming to light. VOA’s Tina Trinh explored the ramifications for one couple as part of trans.formation, a series of stories on transgender issues.
    Video

    Video Amerikan Hero Flips Stereotype of Middle Eastern Character

    An Iranian American comedian is hoping to connect with American audiences through a film that inverts some of Hollywood's stereotypes about Middle Eastern characters. Sama Dizayee reports.
    Video

    Video Budding Young Inventors Tackle City's Problems with 3-D Printing

    Every city has problems, and local officials and politicians are often frustrated by their inability to solve them. But surprising solutions can come from unexpected places. Students in Baltimore. Maryland, took up the challenge to solve problems they identified in their city, and came up with projects and products to make a difference. VOA's June Soh has more on a digital fabrication competition primarily focused on 3-D design and printing. Carol Pearson narrates.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora