News / Africa

Libyan Rebels Welcome Arab League Call for No-Fly Zone

General view showing the Arab League's emergency meeting in Cairo, Egypt, where foreign ministers discussed the possibility of imposing a no-fly zone over Libya to protect the civilian population from the Gadhafi regime's fighter jets, March 12, 2011
General view showing the Arab League's emergency meeting in Cairo, Egypt, where foreign ministers discussed the possibility of imposing a no-fly zone over Libya to protect the civilian population from the Gadhafi regime's fighter jets, March 12, 2011

Libya’s opposition reacted positively to Saturday’s vote by the Arab League supporting a no-fly zone in the country as fighting continued on the frontlines, with pro-Gadhafi forces said to be encroaching on the rebel stronghold of Bengazi. 

The fighting on the frontlines continues west of the rebel headquarters in Benghazi as opposition leaders say they hope an international no-fly zone is coming sooner than later.

With regional support being one of the pre-conditions for a U.N. resolution on a no-fly zone, those opposition leaders, who have seen their situation on the front reverse in the last few days, now are hoping that international intervention could come in a matter of days.

Opposition spokesman Mustafa Gheriani says the effect could change the entire course of the revolution.

"I think the no-fly zone carries a lot of weight from a lot of different aspects," he said. "One, evens out the power, not quite even it out, but at least we got the troops that he does not have, he just has machinery. And we do not have to worry about anything coming from the air, and the other side is the psychological effect on Gadhafi's people, which is huge when they realize a superpower has been introduced to the game."
In eastern Libya, a sandstorm and heavy weather made it difficult for Gadhafi’s planes to fly.  But Libya’s pro-government state television reported the pro-Gadhafi troops have captured the town of Brega. Opposition fighters deny that, and with the chaos of the desert fighting it is hard to confirm just where the frontline is.

But in Benghazi, the main rebel holdout, residents are preparing for the worst by stocking up on propane and other supplies should Gadhafi’s troops come their way and either attack or try to starve out the population here.

The anxiety from those pro-Gadhafi troops moving this way is definitely having an effect in the rebel-held east, with suspicion, fear and paranoia increasing. Reports of "fifth columnists" and infiltrators among the ranks of the opposition forces are also adding to that atmosphere.

On Saturday, gunmen on the road outside Benghazi shot dead 50-year-old cameraman Ali Hassan al-Jaber from Arabic network al Jazeera; making him the first journalist to be killed in this conflict. In a statement, al Jazeera  said it believes its journalist team was targeted by pro-Gadhafi units working behind the lines.

Opposition leaders say they had captured the gunmen responsible. But their claim cannot be independently verified.

With government forces getting closer to Benghazi and suspicion about pro-Gadhafi elements working within their midst, the people in what is being referred to as "liberated Libya" say the support given by the Arab League is very welcome. They say they hope it will give a green light to the United Nations to authorize the no-fly zone so the rebels can start pushing back the encroaching pro-Gadhafi forces.

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

Video Protests Continue in Ferguson, Spread to Other US Cities

Missouri officials say deployment of more than 2,000 National Guard soldiers helps curb second night of rampant arson and looting in Midwestern town More

Video Ebola, Crackdown on Illegals Hit Business in Guangzhou

Chinese city has largest community of Africans in Asia More

Video Legendary Lebanese Actress, Singer Sabah Dies at 87

Music and film diva, affectionately called 'Sabbouha' by millions of her fans, performed at Carnegie Hall in New York, Royal Albert Hall in London, Olympia in Paris, Sydney Opera House in Sydney 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.
Aung San Suu Kyi: Myanmar Opposition to Keep Pushing for Constitutional Changei
X
November 24, 2014 10:09 PM
Myanmar opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi says she and her supporters will continue pushing to amend a constitutional clause that bars her from running for president next year. VOA's Than Lwin Htun reports from the capital Naypyitaw in this report narrated by Colin Lovett.
Video

Video Aung San Suu Kyi: Myanmar Opposition to Keep Pushing for Constitutional Change

Myanmar opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi says she and her supporters will continue pushing to amend a constitutional clause that bars her from running for president next year. VOA's Than Lwin Htun reports from the capital Naypyitaw in this report narrated by Colin Lovett.
Video

Video Mali Attempts to Shut Down Ebola Transmission Chain

Senegal and Nigeria were able to stop small Ebola outbreaks by closely monitoring those who had contact with the sick person and quickly isolating anyone with symptoms. Mali is now scrambling to do the same. VOA’s Anne Look reports from Mali on what the country is doing to shut down the chain of transmission.
Video

Video Ukraine Marks Anniversary of Deadly 1930s Famine

During a commemoration for millions who died of starvation in Ukraine in the early 1930s, President Petro Poroshenko lashed out at Soviet-era totalitarianism for causing the deaths and accused today’s Russian-backed rebels in the east of using similar tactics. VOA’s Daniel Shearf reports from Kyiv.
Video

Video Hong Kong Protests at a Crossroads

New public opinion polls in Hong Kong indicate declining support for pro-democracy demonstrations after weeks of street protests. VOA’s Bill Ide in Guangzhou and Pros Laput in Hong Kong spoke with protesters and observers about whether demonstrators have been too aggressive in pushing for change.
Video

Video US Immigration Relief Imminent for Mixed-Status Families

Tens of thousands of undocumented immigrants in the Washington, D.C., area may benefit from a controversial presidential order announced this week. It's not a path to citizenship, as some activists hoped. But it will allow more immigrants who arrived as children or who have citizen children, to avoid deportation and work legally. VOA's Victoria Macchi talks with one young man who benefited from an earlier presidential order, and whose parents may now benefit after years of living in fear.
Video

Video New Skateboard Defies Gravity

A futuristic dream only a couple of decades ago, the hoverboard – a skateboard that floats above the ground - has finally been made possible. While still not ready for mass production, it promises to become a cool mode of transport... at least over some surfaces. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Falling Gas Prices Impact US Oil Extraction

With the price of oil now less than $80 a barrel, motorists throughout the United States are benefiting from gas prices below $3 a gallon. But as VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, the decreasing price of petroleum has a downside for the hydraulic fracturing industry in the United States.
Video

Video Tensions Build on Korean Peninsula Amid Military Drills

It has been another tense week on the Korean peninsula as Pyongyang threatened to again test nuclear weapons while the U.S. and South Korean forces held joint military exercises in a show of force. VOA’s Brian Padden reports from the Kunsan Air Base in South Korea.
Video

Video Mama Sarah Obama Honored at UN Women’s Entrepreneurship Day

President Barack Obama's step-grandmother is in the United States to raise money to build a $12 million school and hospital center in Kogelo, Kenya, the birthplace of the president's father, Barack Obama, Sr. She was honored for her decades of work to aid poor Kenyans at a Women's Entrepreneurship Day at the United Nations.
Video

Video Ebola Economic Toll Stirs W. Africa Food Security Concerns

The World Bank said Wednesday that it expects the economic impact of the Ebola outbreak on the sub-Saharan economy to cost somewhere betweenf $3 billion to $4 billion - well below a previously-outlined worst-case scenario of $32 billion. Some economists, however, paint a gloomier picture - warning that the disruption to regional markets and trading is considerable. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Chaos, Abuse Defy Solution in Libya

The political and security crisis in Libya is deepening, with competing governments and, according to Amnesty International, widespread human rights violations committed with impunity. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London.
Video

Video US Hosts Record 866,000 Foreign Students

Close to 900,000 international students are studying at American universities and colleges, more than ever before. About half of them come from Asia, mostly China. The United States hosts more foreign students than any other country in the world, and its foreign student population is steadily growing. Zlatica Hoke reports.

All About America

AppleAndroid