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

Video Five Patients Given Experimental Ebola Drug Said To Be Improving

Experimental drugs have been tried on six people: three Westerners and now, three African pyhysicians More

Video In Ukraine, Fear and Distrust Remain Where Fighting has Stopped

As Ukrainian military reclaims control of eastern cities residents rebuild their lives, but many say everyone is being treated with suspicion More

Video In Rural Kenya, Pressure Builds Against Female Circumcision

Girls learn to object; FGM practitioners face penalties from jail sentences to stiff fines 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.
Five Patients Given Experimental Ebola Drug Said to Be Improvingi
X
Carol Pearson
August 19, 2014 11:43 PM
The World Health Organization has approved the use of experimental treatments for Ebola patients in West Africa. The Ebola outbreak there is unprecedented, the disease deadly. The number of people who have died from Ebola has surpassed 1,200. VOA's Carol Pearson reports on the ethical considerations of allowing experimental drugs to be used.
Video

Video Five Patients Given Experimental Ebola Drug Said to Be Improving

The World Health Organization has approved the use of experimental treatments for Ebola patients in West Africa. The Ebola outbreak there is unprecedented, the disease deadly. The number of people who have died from Ebola has surpassed 1,200. VOA's Carol Pearson reports on the ethical considerations of allowing experimental drugs to be used.
Video

Video In Ukraine, Fear and Distrust Remain Where Fighting has Stopped

As the Ukrainian military reclaims control of eastern cities from pro-Russian separatists, residents are getting a chance to rebuild their lives. VOA's Gabe Joselow reports from the town of Kramatorsk in Donetsk province, where a sense of fear is still in the air, and distrust of the government in Kyiv still runs deep.
Video

Video China Targets Overseas Assets of Corrupt Officials

As China presses forward with its anti-graft effort, authorities are targeting corrupt officials who have sent family members and assets overseas. The efforts have stirred up a debate at home on exactly how many officials take that route and how likely it is they will be caught. Rebecca Valli has this report.
Video

Video Leading The Fight Against Islamic State, Kurds Question Iraqi Future

Western countries including the United States have begun arming the Kurdish Peshmerga forces in northern Iraq to aid their battle against extremist Sunni militants from the Islamic State. But there are concerns that a heavily-armed Kurdistan Regional Government, or KRG, might seek to declare independence and cause the break-up of the Iraqi state. As Henry Ridgwell reports from London, the KRG says it will only seek greater autonomy from Baghdad.
Video

Video In Rural Kenya, Pressure Builds Against Female Circumcision

In some Kenyan communities, female genital mutilation remains a rite of passage. But activists are pushing back, with education for girls and with threats of punishment those who perform the circumcision. Mohammed Yusuf looks at the practice in the rural eastern community of Tharaka-Nithi.
Video

Video For Obama, Racial Violence is Personal Issue

The racial violence in the St. Louis suburb of Ferguson is presenting U.S. President Barack Obama with an issue to which he has a deep personal connection. To many Americans, Obama's election as America's first black president marked a turning point in race relations in the United States, and Obama has made ending the violence a policy priority. On Monday he issued a new call for calm and understanding. Luis Ramirez reports from the White House.
Video

Video Clinton-Obama Relationship Could Impact 2016 Election

President Barack Obama and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton have a long and complicated relationship. That relationship took another turn recently when Clinton criticized the president’s foreign policy. VOA National Correspondent Jim Malone reports there is renewed attention on the Clinton-Obama relationship as Hillary Clinton considers running for
Video

Video Iran Looks to Maintain Influence in Baghdad With New Shia PM

Washington and Tehran share the goal of stopping Syrian-based militants in Iraq. But experts say it's Iran, not the United States, that will most influence how the new government in Baghdad approaches internal reforms and the war in Syria. VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns has the story.

AppleAndroid