News / Africa

Libyan Opposition Leader Hails Obama Speech

U.S. President Barack Obama speaks about the conflict in Libya during an address at the National Defense University in Washington, March 28, 2011.
U.S. President Barack Obama speaks about the conflict in Libya during an address at the National Defense University in Washington, March 28, 2011.

Multimedia

Audio
  • Clottey interview with Mufta Lamloom, leader of the main opposition Libyan National Movement

Peter Clottey

The leader of the main opposition Libyan National Movement says President Barack Obama’s speech late Monday demonstrates America’s commitment to not abandon ordinary Libyans in their time of need.

Mufta Lamloom says America’s intervention in the Libyan crisis has prevented forces loyal to leader Moammar Gadhafi from massacring ordinary unarmed Libyans who are opposed to what he describes as Gadhafi’s tyrannical rule.

“What I got from the speech is that he was very cautious trying to address the American people about what he did in Libya and that it was a decision that has to be taken without referring to anybody because there was a massacre about to happen in Benghazi,” said Lamloom.

“It means a lot to Libyans. It means that the United States has not abandoned them in their hour of need because, despite all the obligations of the United States, despite all the hardships the whole world is going through, despite their involvement in Iraq and Afghanistan, the United States has found a way to intervene in the last minute to stop the massacre in Libya,” he added.

In a nationally-televised address Monday from Washington, Obama accused Gadhafi of “brutal repression” and creating a “looming humanitarian crisis,” which he said forced the international community to act.

Lamloom hailed Obama’s speech saying Libyans are encouraged and pleased with America’s intervention.

“[Libyans] will take from the speech that United States has obligations towards the people of the world, especially those who are seeking to liberate themselves from dictatorship and want freedom. This has been shown in a very precise and clear language. He said, whoever is looking for their freedom, they will find a friend in the United States,” Lamloom said.

Obama's speech came 10 days after the Western air campaign against forces loyal to Gadhafi began. He pointed out that the campaign was authorized by what he called a historic vote in the U.N. Security Council and that NATO is to assume enforcement of the no-fly zone and the protection of the Libyan people.

Lamloom also says his expectations about Obama’s speech were met.

“What Libyans see in it [the speech] is that what the coalition or NATO has done is that they have opened the way for Libyans to talk to the chief of the dictatorship. At one point, the Libyans were desperate because Gadhafi was actually massacring the people…he uses the pretext of fighting fundamentalists or al Qaeda,” Lamloom said.

“But, nobody in Libya will believe that because we don’t have those elements in Libya. What Gadhafi was doing was just killing his people systematically. He was encouraging his troops to rape women; that is something that should not be accepted in the Arab World,” he added.

Obama repeated his pledge that the U.S. role would be limited and no U.S. ground forces would be used. The speech was designed to address the concerns of those in Congress and elsewhere who have criticized Obama for failing to clarify U.S. goals before involving U.S. forces in the air assault in support of Libyan rebels.

His speech comes on the eve of a 35-nation conference in London to discuss the situation in Libya and ways to bring about regime change there.

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