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

Philippines, Muslim Rebels Try to Salvage Peace Pact

Peace process faces major setback after botched military operation to find terrorists results in bloody gunbattle between government forces, Moro Islamic Liberation Front fighters More

Republicans Expect Long, Expensive Presidential Battle

Political strategist says eventual winner will be one who can put together strongest coalition of various conservative groups that make up Republican Party More

Video New Wheelchair Is Easier to Use, Increases Mobility

Engineers have come up with a lever-operated design that makes use of easily accessible bicycle technology 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.
Liberia's Almost Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grievingi
X
Benno Muchler
March 26, 2015 3:41 PM
Beatrice Yardolo was to make history as Liberia’s last Ebola patient. Liberians recently started counting down 42 days, the period that has to go by without a single new infection until the World Health Organization can declare a country Ebola-free. That countdown stopped on March 20 when there was another new case of Ebola, making Yardolo’s story a reminder that Ebola is far from over. Benno Muchler reports from Monrovia.
Video

Video Liberia's Almost Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grieving

Beatrice Yardolo was to make history as Liberia’s last Ebola patient. Liberians recently started counting down 42 days, the period that has to go by without a single new infection until the World Health Organization can declare a country Ebola-free. That countdown stopped on March 20 when there was another new case of Ebola, making Yardolo’s story a reminder that Ebola is far from over. Benno Muchler reports from Monrovia.
Video

Video Cambodian Land Grabs Threaten Traditional Communities

Indigenous communities in Cambodia's Ratanakiri province say the government’s economic land concession policy is taking away their land and traditional way of life, making many fear that their identity will soon be lost. Local authorities, though, have denied this is the case. VOA's Say Mony went to investigate and filed this report, narrated by Colin Lovett.
Video

Video US, South Korea Conduct Joint Military Exercises

The Eighth U.S. Army Division and the Eighth Republic of Korea Mechanized Infantry Division put on a well orchestrated show of force for the media this week during their joint military training exercises in South Korea. VOA’s Seoul correspondent Brian Padden was there and reports the soldiers were well disciplined both in conducting a complex live fire exercise and in staying on message with the press.
Video

Video Space Program Status Disappoints 'Last Man on the Moon'

One of the films that drew big crowds last week at the annual South by Southwest festival in Austin, Texas, tells the story of the last human being to stand on the moon, U.S. astronaut Eugene Cernan. It has been 42 years since Cernan returned from the moon and he laments that no one else has gone there since. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports.
Video

Video Young Filmmakers Shine Spotlight on Giving Back

A group of student filmmakers from across the United States joined President Barack Obama at the White House this month for the second annual White House Student Film Festival. Fifteen short films were officially selected from more than 1,500 entries by students aged 6 through 18. The filmmakers and their families then joined the president and a group of celebrities for a screening of their films. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
Video

Video VOA Exclusive: Interview with Afghan President Ashraf Ghani

Afghan President Ashraf Ghani, during his first visit as president to Washington, gave a one-on-one interview with VOA Afghan Service reporter Said Suleiman Ashna, about his request for a change in U.S. troop levels, the threat from the Islamic State, and repairing relations with the United States and Pakistan. The interview was held at Blair House, late Sunday, in Pashto.
Video

Video California Science Center Tells Story of Dead Sea Scrolls

The ancient manuscripts were uncovered in the mid-20th century, and they are still yielding clues about life and religious beliefs in ancient Israel. As VOA's Mike O'Sullivan reports, an exhibit in Los Angeles shows how modern science is bringing the history of these ancient documents to life.
Video

Video Angelina Jolie Takes Another Bold Step

Hollywood actress and filmmaker Angelina Jolie has revealed she had her ovaries and fallopian tubes removed to lower her odds of getting cancer. Doctors say the huge publicity over her decision will help raise awareness about the importance of cancer screening. VOA’s George Putic has more

All About America

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More