News / Africa

Libyan Forces Pound Rebel Areas, UN Security Council Meets

On this image taken during an organized trip by the Libyan authorities for a small group of journalists, Libyan soldiers loyal to Moammar Gadhafi's forces are seen on the western entrance of the city of Ajdabiya, Libya, Wednesday, March 16, 2011.
On this image taken during an organized trip by the Libyan authorities for a small group of journalists, Libyan soldiers loyal to Moammar Gadhafi's forces are seen on the western entrance of the city of Ajdabiya, Libya, Wednesday, March 16, 2011.

Forces loyal to Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi pounded rebel strongholds Wednesday, as the U.N. Security Council began discussing a resolution to set up a "no-fly" zone over the country.

Witnesses say government shelling of the opposition-controlled western city of Misrata killed at least five people. Pro-Gadhafi forces also pounded the eastern town of Ajdabiya, but rebels denied government claims that it had regained control of the town.

Ajdabiya is the last large town on the road to the opposition's eastern stronghold of Benghazi. The Libyan government urged Benghazi residents to hand over weapons and support a government advance on the city.

The International Committee of the Red Cross said the latest fighting has prompted it to withdraw its aid workers from Benghazi and relocate them to the city of Tobruk, farther to the east. The ICRC was among the only aid agencies with a presence in Benghazi. It appealed to all warring sides in Libya to "spare civilians and medical staff."

Some Western powers were pressing for quick passage of a U.N. Security Council resolution to establish a no-fly zone over Libya and authorize other steps in support of the rebels. The lightly armed and poorly organized opposition fighters have lost ground repeatedly in recent days to Mr. Gadhafi's army, with its aircraft, tanks and heavy weapons.

However, some Security Council members, including Germany and Russia, have expressed doubt over the implementation and potential effectiveness of a no-fly zone.  There have also been calls for Arab countries to participate in the implementation if one is approved.

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton told reporters in Cairo that Washington hopes for a vote on the Security Council resolution "no later" than Thursday. Britain, France and Lebanon introduced the document, with the support of the Arab League.

French President Nicolas Sarkozy sent a letter to Security Council members, urging them to come together without delay to "save the martyred people of Libya." He said the worst outcome would be to allow "the force of arms" to overrule the decisions of the Arab League and the Security Council.

U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon called for an immediate cease-fire in Libya.  A spokesperson for the U.N. chief says Mr. Ban is "gravely concerned" about the increasing military escalation by government forces, and indications of a planned assault on Benghazi.

Mr. Gadhafi's son, Seif al-Islam, said in a television interview that whatever decision the council takes it will be too late. Seif al-Islam told EuroNews that  pro-Gadhafi forces are almost to Benghazi and that within 48 hours everything would be finished.

In another development, The New York Times  says four of its journalists have gone missing while reporting on the conflict. The newspaper says it was last in contact with the group on Tuesday. The four include Pulitzer Prize winner Anthony Shadid, reporter Stephen Farrell and photographers Tyler Hicks and Lynsey Addario.

New York Times  executive editor Bill Keller said the Libyan government has told the newspaper it is trying to determine the whereabouts of the journalists. He expressed gratitude for what he said is Tripoli's assurance that the four-person team will be released promptly and unharmed if captured by government forces.

You May Like

Official: S. Sudan President, Rebel Leader to Meet in Tanzania

Talks part of effort to end conflict in country that has left more than 10,000 people dead, displaced more than 1.5 million others More

Dutch Deny Link to Mystery Submarine Off Sweden

Netherlands denies Russian claim that 'foreign vessel' photographed in waters off Sweden could be Dutch More

China Boosts Efforts to Help Afghan, Regional Stability

Observers say China’s increased regional involvement are due to concerns that Afghan instability and the presence of anti-China militants in Pakistani border areas could fuel Xinjiang troubles 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.
China Political Meeting Seeks to Improve Rule of Lawi
X
William Ide
October 20, 2014 10:23 AM
China’s communist leaders will host a top level political meeting this week, called the Fourth Plenum, and for the first time in the party’s history, rule of law will be a key item on the agenda. Analysts and Chinese media reports say the meetings could see the approval of long-awaited measures aimed at giving courts more independence and include steps to enhance an already aggressive and high-reaching anti-corruption drive. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
Video

Video China Political Meeting Seeks to Improve Rule of Law

China’s communist leaders will host a top level political meeting this week, called the Fourth Plenum, and for the first time in the party’s history, rule of law will be a key item on the agenda. Analysts and Chinese media reports say the meetings could see the approval of long-awaited measures aimed at giving courts more independence and include steps to enhance an already aggressive and high-reaching anti-corruption drive. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
Video

Video Ebola Orphanage Opens in Sierra Leone

Sierra Leone's first Ebola orphanage has opened in the Kailahun district. Hundreds of children orphaned since the beginning of the Ebola outbreak face stigma and rejection with nobody to care for them. Adam Bailes reports for VOA about a new interim care center that's aimed at helping the growing number of children affected by Ebola.
Video

Video Latinas Converting to Islam for Identity, Structure

Latinos are one of the fastest growing groups in the Muslim religion. According to the Pew Research Center, about 6 percent of American Muslims are Latino. And a little more than half of new converts are female. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti travelled to Miami, Florida -- where two out of every three residents is Hispanic -- to learn more.
Video

Video Nigeria Agrees to Cease-Fire With Boko Haram

Islamist militant group Boko Haram and the Nigerian government have agreed to a cease-fire. The Nigerian government issued an order Friday, telling all military chiefs "to comply with the cease-fire agreement in all theaters of operations. Why now and the significance of the agreement are questions on some people’s minds. VOA's Mariama Diallo reports.
Video

Video Kobani Fighting Sends 400,000 Refugees to Turkey

The offensive by Islamic State militants against the northern Syrian city of Kobani has caused hundreds of thousands of residents to flee to Turkey. They receive help from Turkish authorities and individuals, but say much more is needed. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from the town of Suruc a few kilometers from the border.
Video

Video Exclusive: American Joins Kurds' Anti-IS Fight

The United States and other Western nations have expressed alarm about their citizens joining Islamic State forces in Syria and Iraq. In a rare counterpoint to the phenomenon, an American has taken up arms with the militants' Syrian Kurdish opponents. Elizabeth Arrott has more in this exclusive profile by VOA Kurdish reporter Zana Omer in Ras al Ayn, Syria.
Video

Video South Korea Confronts Violence Within Military Ranks

Every able-bodied South Korean male between 18 and 35 must serve for 21 to 36 months in the country’s armed forces, depending upon the specific branch. For many, service is a rite of passage to manhood. But there are growing concerns that bullying and violence come along with the tradition. Reporter Jason Strother has more from Seoul.
Video

Video Comanche People Maintain Pride in Their Heritage

The Comanche (Indian nation) once were called the “Lords of the Plains,” with an empire that included half the land area of current day Texas, large parts of Oklahoma, New Mexico, Kansas and Colorado.The fierceness and battle prowess of these warriors on horseback delayed the settlement of most of West Texas for four decades. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Lawton, Oklahoma, that while their warrior days are over, the 15,000 members of the Comanche Nation remain a proud people.
Video

Video Turkey Campus Attacks Raise Islamic Radicalization Fears

Concerns are growing in Turkey of Islamic radicalization at some universities, after clashes between supporters of the jihadist group Islamic State (IS) or ISIS, and those opposed to the extremists. Pro-jihadist literature is on sale openly on the streets of Istanbul. Critics accuse the government of turning a blind eye to radicalism at home, while Kurds accuse the president of supporting IS - a charge strongly denied. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Syrian Defector Leaks Shocking Photos of Torture Victims

Shocking photographs purporting to show Syrian torture victims are on display at the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington. The museum says the graphic images are among thousands of photographs recently smuggled out of Syria by a military policeman-turned-defector. As VOA reporter Julie Taboh reports, the museum says the photos provide further evidence of atrocities committed by the government of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad against its own people.
Video

Video Drought-Stricken California Considers Upgrading Water System

A three-year drought in California is causing a water shortage that is being felt on farms and cities throughout the state. As VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports, water experts, consumers and farmers say California needs to make changes to cope with an uncertain future.
Video

Video TechShop Puts High-tech Dreams Within Reach

Square, a business app and card reader, makes it possible to do credit card transactions through cell phones. But what made Square possible? VOA’s Adrianna Zhang and Enming Liu have the answer.

All About America

AppleAndroid