News / Africa

Libyan Government, Rebels Lobby for International Support

Libyan Government, Rebels Lobby for International Support
Libyan Government, Rebels Lobby for International Support

With a military stalemate apparent on the front lines in Libya between pro-Gadhafi groups and the opposition, the war of words has taken center stage.

The two sides in Libya’s conflict spent much of the day Wednesday exchanging not only bullets but also efforts to win international support and depict their enemies as the real aggressors.

For the opposition, reports that Mr. Gadhafi’s air force conducted strikes against the oil fields in the east show just how little he cares about the economy and the well-being of the average Libyan.

In an interview with VOA, opposition leader and Provisional Transition Committee member Abdel-Hafidh Ghoga said the government attacks on the oil infrastructure could have far-reaching consequences. "The attacks on the oil fields and pipelines could lead to an environmental and humanitarian crisis, and will affect the financial capabilities of the Libyan people," he said.

Ghoga is a civil rights lawyer who now is one of the more prominent members of the 11-person national opposition committee. The interview with him took place following his group's second official meeting.

The opposition says the military strikes damaged the Ras Lanuf oil facility and a vital pipeline. Ghoga accused Mr. Gadhafi of trying to provoke and draw in Western forces, something Libyans have vocally and strongly opposed.

For his part, Moammar Gadhafi contends the rebels are acting on behalf of Western powers, and are planning to invite them in to take control of those very same oil resources. Mr. Gadhafi said that if the rebels were to gain control of Libya, it would throw the entire region, including Israel, into chaos.

Both sides Wednesday took the opportunity to court foreign powers to gain international support.

Representatives of the Gadhafi government flew to Cairo, Malta and Brussels for talks. The official who flew to Malta then went on to Portugal for meetings with that country’s foreign minister.

An opposition spokesman said his group had talks with Italian authorities in Benghazi before they went back to Egypt carrying a message to the West calling for increased support and a no-fly zone to be imposed against Mr. Gadhafi's air force.

Also Wednesday, France’s President Nicholas Sarkozy said he will meet with representatives of the Libyan opposition.

According to Abdel-Hafidh Ghoga, the aim for the Provisional Transition Committee now is to be seen as the true voice of the Libyan people. "We seek to be recognized by the international community that we are the sole and legitimate representatives of the Libyan people," he said.

But in Tripoli, Moammar Gadhafi has branded the opposition as terrorists. State television called them agents and spies, and announced a $400,000 bounty on rebel leader Mustafa Abdul Jalil.

The mood within the opposition is still optimistic. They say Mr. Gadhafi has lost all legitimacy both internationally and within Libya.

But without the long-requested no-fly zone, the opposition says what is now the inevitable outcome of this conflict, the ouster of Mr. Gadhafi, will be a longer time coming and will cost many more lives.

The question for many of the rebels here is what is the West waiting for?

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