News / Africa

Libyan Rebels Retreat from Oil Port Under Fire from Pro-Gadhafi Forces

A rebel fighter sits on a truck as he fires an anti-aircraft gun during an air strike at a rebel fighters checkpoint in Al Ugaila area along a road between the towns of Brega and Ras Lanuf, March 12, 2011
A rebel fighter sits on a truck as he fires an anti-aircraft gun during an air strike at a rebel fighters checkpoint in Al Ugaila area along a road between the towns of Brega and Ras Lanuf, March 12, 2011

Libyan rebels have retreated from an eastern oil port under heavy shelling from advancing government forces - another setback to an opposition movement trying to topple Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi.

Rebels fled the town of Brega Sunday, heading northeast along the coast toward the opposition-controlled town of Ajdabiya. Libyan state television declared that Brega has been "cleansed of armed gangs," but there was no immediate confirmation of that claim.

Gadhafi's forces have staged a rapid offensive into the opposition stronghold of eastern Libya in recent days, capturing two rebel-held towns to the west of Brega, Ras Lanuf and Bin Jawwad. Lightly armed and poorly organized opposition fighters have not been able to stop the advance of Gadhafi loyalists using aircraft, tanks and heavy weapons.

Some rebels say the setbacks have left them demoralized. Opposition protesters backed by deserting army units took control of most of eastern Libya and parts of the west last month, at the start of an uprising against Gadhafi's 42-year rule.

Pro-government forces also recaptured the western town of Zawiya, near the capital, Tripoli, last week, but the rebels remain in control of the western city of Misrata, Libya's third-largest.

Misrata residents reported hearing gun battles on the city's outskirts Sunday. It was not clear who was involved in the fighting. Gadhafi loyalists have staged several offensives to try to recapture the city in recent days.

Libyan rebels and the Arab League have urged the international community to impose a no-fly zone over Libya to prevent air attacks by pro-Gadhafi forces on the opposition.

France welcomed Arab League support for a French- and British-led initiative to draft a U.N. Security Council resolution that would establish a no-fly zone.

In a statement Sunday, the French foreign ministry said it will speed up efforts to build support for a resolution through contacts with the European Union, the Arab League, the U.N. Security Council and the rebels' Libyan National Transition Council. France is the first country to recognize the rebel council as Libya's legitimate ruler.

German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle also welcomed the Arab League call for a no-fly zone, but said "many questions" remain about how to implement it without violating the League's other demand for no foreign troop intervention in Libya.

The United States is participating in planning for a no-fly zone, but has expressed doubts about the effectiveness of such a measure, and wants a clear legal mandate before taking action. U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is due to hold talks with representatives of the Libyan opposition council in Paris on Monday.

In another development, Gadhafi's government appealed to foreign oil companies to resume exports from Libyan oil terminals Sunday, after many foreign workers left the country to escape the unrest. Libyan state television said the oil terminals are secure, and it urged their employees to return to work.

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

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

You May Like

Australia Knights Prince Philip, Sparking National Outrage

Abbott's surprise reintroduction of knights and dames in the country's honors system last year drew criticism that he was out of touch with national sentiment More

SAG Award Boosts 'Birdman' Oscar Hopes

Individual acting Oscars appear to be sewn up: SAG awards went to artists who won Golden Globes: Julianne Moore, Eddie Redmayne, Patricia Arquette, J.K. Simmons More

Katy Perry Lights Way for Super Bowl's Girl Power Moment

Pop star's selection to headline US football championship's halftime show extends NFL's trend of selecting artists who appeal to younger viewers 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.
Zoo Animals Show Their Artistic Sidesi
X
June Soh
January 23, 2015 10:03 PM
The pursuit of happiness is so important, America's founding fathers put it in the Declaration of Independence. Any zookeeper will tell you animals need enrichment, just like humans do. So painting, and even music, are part of the Smithsonian National Zoo's program to keep the animals happy. VOA’s June Soh met some animal artists at the zoo in Washington. Faith Lapidus narrates.
Video

Video Zoo Animals Show Their Artistic Sides

The pursuit of happiness is so important, America's founding fathers put it in the Declaration of Independence. Any zookeeper will tell you animals need enrichment, just like humans do. So painting, and even music, are part of the Smithsonian National Zoo's program to keep the animals happy. VOA’s June Soh met some animal artists at the zoo in Washington. Faith Lapidus narrates.
Video

Video Progress, Some Areas of Disagreement in Cuba Talks

U.S. and Cuban officials are reporting progress from initial talks in Havana on re-establishing diplomatic ties. U.S. Assistant Secretary of State (for Western Hemisphere Affairs) Roberta Jacobson said while there was agreement on a broad range of issues, there also are some “profound disagreements” between Washington and Havana. VOA State Department correspondent Pam Dockins has the story.
Video

Video Worldwide Photo Workshops Empower Youth

Last September, 20 young adults from South Sudan took part in a National Geographic Photo Camp. They are among hundreds of students from around the world who have learned how to use a camera to tell the stories of the people in their communities through the powerful medium of photography. Three camp participants talked about their experiences recently on a visit to Washington. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
Video

Video US, Japan Offer Lessons as Eurozone Launches Huge Stimulus

The Euro currency has fallen sharply after the European Central Bank announced a bigger-than-expected $67 billion-a-month quantitative easing program Thursday - commonly seen as a form of printing new money. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London on whether the move might rescue the eurozone economy -- and what lessons have been learned from similar programs around the world.
Video

Video Nigerian Elections Pose Concern of Potential Conflict in 'Middle Belt'

Nigeria’s north-central state of Kaduna has long been the site of fighting between Muslims and Christians as well as between people of different ethnic groups. As the February elections approach, community and religious leaders are making plans they hope will keep the streets calm after results are announced. Chris Stein reports from the state capital, Kaduna.
Video

Video As Viewership Drops, Obama Puts His Message on YouTube

Ratings reports show President Obama’s State of the Union address this week drew the lowest number of viewers for this annual speech in 15 years. White House officials anticipated this, and the president has decided to take a non-traditional approach to getting his message out. VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.
Video

Video S. Korean Businesses Want to End Trade Restrictions With North

Business leaders in South Korea are calling for President Park Geun-hye to ease trade restrictions with North Korea that were put in place in 2010 after the sinking of a South Korean warship.Pro-business groups argue that expanding trade and investment is not only good for business, it is also good for long-term regional peace and security. VOA’s Brian Padden reports.
Video

Video US Marching Bands Grow Into a Show of Their Own

The 2014 Super Bowl halftime show was the most-watched in history - attracting an estimated 115 million viewers. That event featured pop star Bruno Mars. But the halftime show tradition started with marching bands, which still dominate the entertainment at U.S. high school and college American football games. But as Enming Liu reports in this story narrated by Adrianna Zhang, marching bands have grown into a show of their own.

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

All About America

AppleAndroid