News / Africa

Berlusconi Opposes Libya Mission; Rome Cuts Involvement

Libyan protesters attend a rally against Moammar Gadhafi in Misrata, July 6, 2011
Libyan protesters attend a rally against Moammar Gadhafi in Misrata, July 6, 2011

Italy's prime minister has voiced serious doubts about the NATO intervention in Libya as his conservative government announced plans to cut back its participation in the mission.

Silvio Berlusconi said Thursday he has always been against the war but that his "hands were tied" once the U.N. authorized a no-fly zone to protect Libyan civilians. The Italian prime minister - the first Western leader engaged in the operation to publicly express doubts about its success - is under pressure to withdraw from the Libya campaign from his key ally, the Northern League.

Defense Minister Ignazio La Russa said the aircraft carrier Garibaldi would be replaced by a smaller ship, freeing up nearly 1,000 military personnel. He said the drawdown would cut Italy's expenditures in the Libya operation from $204 million for the first three months of the mission to $83 million through September.

But La Russa said Rome remained committed to the operation and that alliance bombing runs, including those carried out by Italian aircraft, would continue from bases in southern Italy.

Meanwhile, in Washington, the House of Representatives narrowly defeated a measure that would have cut off funding for the U.S. military operation against Libya beginning October 1, the start of fiscal year 2012.

The House did vote to bar money being spent on military equipment or training for the Libyan rebels. The bill also requires Senate approval and U.S. President Barack Obama's signature before becoming law.

In Geneva Thursday, U.N. chief Ban Ki-moon urged Moammar Gadhafi to listen "much more attentively" to the will of the people. The Libyan leader has dismissed opposition forces attempting to end his 42-year rule as "criminals and vermin."

Libyan rebels made substantial advances Wednesday, seizing two small towns south of Tripoli in a six-hour gunbattle with government troops. Rebel forces said they had gained control of al-Qawalish and Kikla, both within 100 kilometers of Mr. Gadhafi's stronghold of Tripoli. The next larger town to the north is Garyan, which controls a main road leading to the capital.

Opposition fighters also pushed further from their western stronghold of Misrata toward the town of Zlitan but came under heavy artillery fire. Medics say at least 14 rebels were killed and 30 wounded in fighting near the city on Wednesday.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP, AP and Reuters.

You May Like

Uganda Court Annuls Anti-Gay Law

Court says law was passed in parliament without enough members present for a full quorum More

Multimedia Thailand Makes Efforts to Improve Conditions for Migrant Laborers

In Thailand, its not uncommon for parents to bring their children to work; one company, in-collaboration with other organizations, address safety concerns More

In Indonesia, Jihad Video Raises Concern

Video calls on Indonesians to join Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, ISIL 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.
In Thailand, Some Efforts to Improve Conditions For Migrant Laborersi
X
Steve Herman
August 01, 2014 6:22 PM
Thailand has been facing increasing international scrutiny as a hub of human trafficking and slave labor. Some of the kingdom’s companies are striving to improve working conditions, especially for the millions of migrant laborers from surrounding countries. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman in Bangkok takes a look at one initiative for children at construction sites
Video

Video In Thailand, Some Efforts to Improve Conditions For Migrant Laborers

Thailand has been facing increasing international scrutiny as a hub of human trafficking and slave labor. Some of the kingdom’s companies are striving to improve working conditions, especially for the millions of migrant laborers from surrounding countries. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman in Bangkok takes a look at one initiative for children at construction sites
Video

Video Public Raises its Voice on Power Plant Pollution

In the United States, proposed rules to cut pollution from the nation’s 600 coal-fired power plants are generating a heated debate. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, charged with writing and implementing the plan, has already received 300,000 written comments. As VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports, another 1,600 people are lining up this week at EPA headquarters and at satellite offices around the country to give their testimony in person.
Video

Video Information War Rages Alongside Real One in Ukraine

The downing of the Malaysian airliner two weeks ago, and allegations that Russians are shelling Ukrainian troops across the border, have moved the information war swirling around the Ukrainian conflict to a new level. VOA's Al Pessin reports from Kyiv.
Video

Video When Fighting Eases, Gazans Line Up at Bakeries

When there is a lull in the conflict in Gaza, residents who have been hunkered down in their apartments rush out to stock up on food and other necessities. Probably the most important destination is the local bakery. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from Gaza City.
Video

Video China Investigates Powerful Former Security Chief

The public in China is welcoming the Communist Party's decision to investigate one of the country's once most powerful politicians, former domestic security chief Zhou Yongkang. Analysts say the move by President Xi Jinping is not only an effort to win more support for the party, but an essential step to furthering much needed economic reforms and removing those who would stand in the way of change. VOA's Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
Video

Video US-Funded Program Offers Honduran Children Alternative to Illegal Immigration

President Obama and Central American leaders recently agreed to come up with a plan to address poverty and crime in the region that is fueling the surge of young migrants trying to illegally enter the United States. VOA’s Brian Padden looks at one such program in Honduras - funded in part by the United States - which gives street kids not only food and safety but a chance for a better life without, crossing the border.
Video

Video 'Fab Lab' Igniting Revolution in Kenya

The University of Nairobi’s Science and Technology Park is banking on 3-D prototyping to spark a manufacturing revolution in the country. Lenny Ruvaga has more for from Nairobi's so-called “FabLab” for VOA.
Video

Video Immigrant Influx on Texas Border Heats Up Political Debate

Immigrants from Central America continue to cross the U.S.-Mexico border in south Texas, seeking asylum in the United States, as officials grapple with ways to deal with the problem and provide shelter for thousands of minors among the illegal border crossers. As VOA's Greg Flakus reports from Houston, the issue is complicated by internal U.S. politics and U.S. relations with the troubled nations that immigrants are fleeing.

AppleAndroid