News / Africa

Libya's NTC Forces Storm Bani Walid, Sirte

A former rebel fighter looks through binoculars as he stands in a convoy of revolutionary forces, moments before heading to the frontline in Bani Walid, at a checkpoint in Wadi Dinar, Libya,  September 16, 2011.
A former rebel fighter looks through binoculars as he stands in a convoy of revolutionary forces, moments before heading to the frontline in Bani Walid, at a checkpoint in Wadi Dinar, Libya, September 16, 2011.

Forces of Libya's interim government are fighting their way through former leader Moammar Gadhafi's remaining strongholds as more world leaders express support for the country's interim government.

Transitional government forces stormed the desert town of Bani Walid early Friday, engaging in heavy fire with Gadhafi loyalists. Reports say interim government forces were retreating from the city center due to intense sniper fire.

The National Transitional Council fighters also faced fierce resistance from Gadhafi loyalists in the former leader's hometown, Sirte. Witnesses said NATO planes flew over Sirte as rapid gunfire and the explosion of heavy rockets filled the coastal Mediterranean town with smoke.

As revolutionary forces fight to push Gadhafi loyalists out of the few remaining strongholds, the whereabouts of the former leader remains unknown.

Meanwhile, the government of Niger announced Friday it will keep Gadhafi's son, Saadi, in custody and will not return him to Libya. Several Gadhafi associates and family members have escaped to neighboring countries in recent weeks.

NTC acquires UN seat

Meanwhile, the United Nations voted to turn over Libya's seat in the General Assembly to the country's National Transitional Council. The resolution was approved by a vote of 114 in favor, 17 against, with 15 abstentions, which gives the NTC the opportunity to choose an ambassador before next week's UNGA meeting.

VOA's U.N. correspondent Margaret Besheer reports several diplomats say the country's U.N. ambassador, Mohamed Shalgham, will remain in the post. Ambassador Shalgham publicly defected during a Security Council meeting earlier this year.

Turkish PM arrives in Tripoli

Another boost of support for Libya's fledgling government came Friday during a visit by Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan. Jubilant Libyans and a NTC leader, Mustafa Abdel Jalil, welcomed Erdogan to the capital. He told the cheering crowds they are inspiration to others living in oppressive regimes. The Turkish leader will also travel to Benghazi as he wraps up a tour of Arab capitals.

The White House announced Friday that U.S. President Barack Obama will show his support for the NTC by meeting with Jalil next week on the sidelines of the UNGA in New York. A White House spokesman said the two will discuss the NTC's plans for a post-Gadhafi transition.

The Associated Press reported Friday that the U.S. is expanding efforts to help the NTC pinpoint Gadhafi's vast arsenal of weapons. But State Department spokesman Mark Toner would not confirm whether additional weapons experts were being sent to Libya.

British Prime Minister David Cameron and French President Nicolas Sarkozy leaders reached out to the Libyan transitional government on Thursday during a visit to Tripoli and Benghazi.  The European visitors said they would introduce a draft resolution at the United Nations Security Council Friday to establish a U.N. mission in Libya and remove an international "freeze" on Libyan assets.

The resolution also would abolish the international arms embargo against Libya and lift a "no-fly zone" on civilian air travel in the Mediterranean nation.

'Give Up' encourages Cameron

Prime Minister Cameron and President Sarkozy said they will help Libya's new government track down Gadhafi and extend its authority throughout the country, and they promised NATO's military support for Libya will continue as long as it is needed.

Cameron called on the fugitive leader and his followers to surrender.

You May Like

Kurdish Party Pushes Political Gamble to Run in Turkey Poll

HDP announces it will run as political party instead of fielding independent candidates in June election, but faces tough 10 percent threshold More

Twitter Targets Islamic State

New research shows suspending Twitter accounts of Islamic State, its supporters has been effective; group, its backers are facing 'significant pressure,' says terrorism expert More

Video Former Sudan 'Lost Boy' Becomes Chess Master in NYC

Majur Juac made the leap from being a refugee in Africa to a master chess champion in US, where he shares his expertise with students 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.
Super Bowl Ads Compete for Eyes on TV, Webi
X
January 29, 2015 9:58 AM
Super Bowl Sunday (Feb. 1) is about more than just the NFL's American football championship and big parties to watch the game. Viewers also tune in for the world famous commercials that send Facebook and Twitter abuzz. Daniela Schrier reports on the social media rewards for America’s priciest advertising.
Video

Video Super Bowl Ads Compete for Eyes on TV, Web

Super Bowl Sunday (Feb. 1) is about more than just the NFL's American football championship and big parties to watch the game. Viewers also tune in for the world famous commercials that send Facebook and Twitter abuzz. Daniela Schrier reports on the social media rewards for America’s priciest advertising.
Video

Video Theologians Cast Doubt on Morality of Drone Strikes

In 2006, stirred by photos of U.S. soldiers mistreating Iraqi prisoners, a group of American faith leaders and academics launched the National Religious Campaign Against Torture. It played an important role in getting Congress to investigate, and the president to ban, torture. VOA's Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Freedom on Decline Worldwide, Report Says

The state of global freedom declined for the ninth consecutive year in 2014, according to global watchdog Freedom House's annual report released Wednesday. VOA's William Gallo has more.
Video

Video As Ground Shifts, Obama Reviews Middle East Strategy

The death of Saudi Arabia’s king, the collapse of a U.S.-friendly government in Yemen and a problematic relationship with Israel’s leadership are presenting a new set of complications for the Obama administration and its Middle East policy. Not only is the U.S. leader dealing with adversaries in Iran, the Islamic State and al-Qaida, but he is now juggling trouble with traditional allies, as White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.
Video

Video MRI Seems to Help Diagnose Prostate Cancer, Preliminary Study Shows

Just as with mammography used to detect breast cancer, there's a lot of controversy about tests used to diagnose prostate cancer. Fortunately, a new study shows doctors may now have a more reliable way to diagnose prostate cancer for high risk patients. More from VOA's Carol Pearson.
Video

Video Smartphones About to Make Leap, Carry Basic Senses

Long distance communication contains mostly sounds and pictures. For now. But scientists in Britain say they are close to creating additions for our smartphones that will make it possible to send taste, smell and even a basic touch. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video NASA Monitors Earth’s Vital Signs From Space

The U.S. space agency, NASA, is wrapping up its busiest 12-month period in more than a decade, with three missions launched in 2014 and two this month, one in early January and the fifth scheduled for January 29. As VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports, the instruments being lifted into orbit are focused on Earth’s vital life support systems and how they are responding to a warmer planet.
Video

Video Saved By a Mistake - an Auschwitz Survivor's Story

Dagmar Lieblova was 14 when she arrived at Auschwitz in December 1943, along with her entire Czech Jewish family. All of them were to die there, but she was able to leave after several months due to a bureaucratic mix-up which saved her life. Now 85, with three children and six grandchildren, she says she has a feeling of victory. This report by Ahmad Wadiei and Farin Assemi, of RFE/RL's Radio Farda is narrated by RFE’s Raymond Furlong.

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