News / Africa

Fighting Continues in Libya as Opposition Seeks to Organize Resistance

Libyan rebel scans the field as they wait for the signal to advance at an intersection just outside Brega, Libya, April 3, 2011
Libyan rebel scans the field as they wait for the signal to advance at an intersection just outside Brega, Libya, April 3, 2011
Scott Bobb

Opposition forces in Libya Sunday continued to battle troops loyal to Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi around the oil-town of Brega, 800 kilometers east of Tripoli. Rebel leaders acknowledged that pro-Gadhafi troops were better trained and better equipped but said they were slowly organizing.

Eastern-based forces fighting the government of Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi said they had made a tactical withdrawal Sunday from Brega after claiming earlier to have seized the town following days of fighting.

They said pro-Gadhafi forces continued to besiege Libya’s third largest city, Misrata, 150 kilometers east of Tripoli, and to shell the two nearby towns of Zintan and Yafran.

Officials said the forces, which are composed largely of volunteers with little or no military training, were at a disadvantage when facing the more heavily armed government troops.

But the commander of an artillery training unit outside Benghazi, Mustafa Sagisli, said the opposition forces were making progress.

"I think we are reaching to a point where we would be a bit organized but it will take a little time to have plans, strategies and not the chaos that happened a couple of weeks ago where everybody was fighting on his own," he said.

Commanders said they no longer were allowing civilian volunteers to go to the front on their own.

Rather, they said, volunteer units would be ordered to the frontlines after being trained to support the formal military units already there.

The announcement followed an air strike by the international coalition enforcing a no-fly zone on pro-Gadhafi forces that killed 13 rebels near Brega.

The head of the National Transition Council, Mustafa Abdul-Jalil, called the incident unintentional. The North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) that is commanding the operation said it would investigate.

The National Transition Council, which was established following the popular uprising in eastern Libya Saturday announced it had created a crisis team to administer the territory.

It named a military chief-of-staff and heads of the central bank and oil company as part of the team.

Officials emphasized they were not establishing a separate government or seeking secession from Libya. They said they were seeking to end the 41-year rule of Colonel Gadhafi and establish a unified country based on individual freedoms and the rule of law.

The rebels proposed a ceasefire Friday but this was rejected by the Tripoli government as containing pre-conditions that did not promote peace.

 

Follow our Middle East reports on Twitter
and discuss them on our Facebook page.

You May Like

ASEAN Ministers Set to Push for South China Sea Agreements

According to documents obtained by VOA Khmer, ministers will stand up for 'freedom of navigation, unimpeded lawful maritime commerce, trade and over flight' More

Puerto Rico Defaults on $58M Debt Payment

Payment was due Saturday, default is first in country's 117 years as a United States possession More

Turkish Public Fears Jihadists More Than Kurds

Turkey facing twin threats of terrorism by Islamic State and PKK Kurdish separatists, says President Erdogan’s ruling AK Party 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.
Iraqi Yazidis Fear Death of Their Communityi
X
Sharon Behn
August 03, 2015 2:23 PM
A year ago on August 3, Islamic State militants stormed the homelands of Iraq’s Yazidi minority, killing hundreds of men and enslaving thousands of women. The scenes of desperate Yazidi families crowding on the top of Sinjar mountain without food or water spurred Kurdish fighters into action, an emergency airlift and the start of the U.S. airstrike campaign against the Islamic State Sunni extremists. VOA's Sharon Benh reports from northern Iraq.
Video

Video Iraqi Yazidis Fear Death of Their Community

A year ago on August 3, Islamic State militants stormed the homelands of Iraq’s Yazidi minority, killing hundreds of men and enslaving thousands of women. The scenes of desperate Yazidi families crowding on the top of Sinjar mountain without food or water spurred Kurdish fighters into action, an emergency airlift and the start of the U.S. airstrike campaign against the Islamic State Sunni extremists. VOA's Sharon Benh reports from northern Iraq.
Video

Video Bangkok Warned It Soon Could Be Submerged

Italy's Venice and America's New Orleans are not the only cities gradually submerging. The nearly ten million residents of the Bangkok urban area now must confront warnings the city could become uninhabitable in a few decades. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from the Thai capital.
Video

Video Inclusive Gym Gets People With Disabilities in Fitness Spirit

Individuals with special needs are 58 percent more likely to be obese than the general population. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control, they also have an increased likelihood of anxiety, depression and social isolation. But a sports club outside Washington wants to make a difference in these people's lives. With Carol Pearson narrating, VOA's June Soh reports.
Video

Video Astronauts Train Underwater for Deep Space Missions

Manned deep space missions are still a long way off, but space agencies are already testing procedures, equipment and human stamina for operations in extreme environment conditions. Small groups of astronauts take turns in spending days in an underwater lab, off Florida’s southern coast, simulating future missions to some remote world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Special Olympics Show Competitors' Skill, Determination

Special Olympics competitions will wrap up Saturday in Los Angeles, and the closing ceremony for athletes with intellectual disabilities will be held Sunday night. In a week of competition, athletes have shown what they can do through skill and determination. VOA's Mike O'Sullivan reports.
Video

Video Civil Rights Leaders Struggled to Achieve Voting Rights Act

Fifty years ago, lawmakers approved, and U.S. President Lyndon Johnson signed, the Voting Rights Act of 1965. The measure outlawed racial discrimination in voting, giving millions of blacks in many parts of the southern United States federal enforcement of the right to vote. Correspondent Chris Simkins introduces us to some civil rights leaders who were on the front lines in the struggle for voting rights.
Video

Video Shooter’s Grill: Serving Food with a Touch of the Second Amendment

Shooter's Grill, a restaurant in Rifle, Colorado, attracts visitors from all over the world as well as local patrons. The reason? Waitresses openly carry loaded firearms as they serve food, and customers are welcome to carry them, too. VOA's Enming Liu and Lin Yang paid a visit to Shooter's Grill, and heard different opinions about this unique establishment.
Video

Video Despite Controversy, Business Owner Continues Sale of Confederate Flags

At Cooter’s, a store in rural Sperryville, Virginia, about 120 kilometers west of Washington, D.C., Confederate flags are flying off the shelves. The red, white and blue battle flag, with 13 white stars representing the Confederate states, was carried by southern forces during the U.S. Civil War in the 1860s. The South had seceded from the Union over several key issues of disagreement, including slavery. VOA’s Deborah Block has the story.
Video

Video Booming London Property a ‘Haven for Dirty Money’

Billions of dollars of so-called ‘dirty money’ from the proceeds of crime - especially from Russia - are being laundered through the London property market, according to anti-corruption activists. As Henry Ridgwell reports from the British capital, the government has pledged to crack down on the practice.
Video

Video Hometown of Boy Scouts of America Founder Reacts to Gay Leader Decision

Ottawa, Illinois, is the hometown of W.D. Boyce, who founded the Boy Scouts of America in 1910. In Ottawa, where Scouting remains an important part of the legacy of the community, the end of the organization's ban on openly gay adult leaders was seen as inevitable. VOA's Kane Farabaugh reports.

VOA Blogs