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

Video Experts Warn World Losing Ebola Fight

Doctors Without Borders says world is losing battle against Ebola, unless wealthy nations dispatch specialized biological disaster response teams More

Video Experts: Rise of Islamic State Significant Development in Jihadism

Many analysts contend the group - which grew out of al-Qaida in Iraq - has been rebuilding for years More

US-Based Hong Kongers Pledge Support for Pro-Democracy Activists

Democracy advocates call on Chinese living abroad to join them in opposing new election rules for their home territory 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.
Larger Than Life Chinese Lanterns Make Southern California Appearancei
X
Elizabeth Lee
September 02, 2014 8:57 PM
Chinese lanterns with a long history are lighting up in 21st century style at the Los Angeles County Fair in southern California. Visitors can see traditional lanterns that hang, but also lanterns in the shape of animals, iconic landmarks and many other objects, all created by artisans from a place in China known for its lanterns. Elizabeth Lee has the details from the fair in the city of Pomona.
Video

Video Larger Than Life Chinese Lanterns Make Southern California Appearance

Chinese lanterns with a long history are lighting up in 21st century style at the Los Angeles County Fair in southern California. Visitors can see traditional lanterns that hang, but also lanterns in the shape of animals, iconic landmarks and many other objects, all created by artisans from a place in China known for its lanterns. Elizabeth Lee has the details from the fair in the city of Pomona.
Video

Video Experts See Rise of ISIS as Significant Development

The Islamic State’s rise seems sudden. It caught the U.S. by surprise this summer when it captured large portions of northern Iraq and spread its wings in neighboring Syria. But many analysts contend that the group - which grew out of al-Qaida in Iraq - has been rebuilding for years. VOA's Jela de Franceschi takes a closer look at the rise of ISIS and its implications for the Middle East and beyond.
Video

Video Israel Concerned Over Syrian Rebels in Golan

Israeli officials are following with concern the recent fighting between Syrian rebels and government forces near the contested Golan Heights. Forty-four U.N. peacekeepers from Fiji have been seized by Syrian Islamist rebels and the clashes occasionally have spilled into Israel. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from Jerusalem.
Video

Video Ukraine Schools Resume Classes, Donate to Government Forces

A new school year has started in Ukraine but thousands of children in the war-torn east are unable to attend because of ongoing clashes with pro-Russia rebels. In Ukraine's capital, patriotic education has become the norm along with donations to support injured security forces fighting to take back rebel-held areas. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Kyiv.
Video

Video US Detainees Want Negotiators for Freedom in North Korea

The three U.S. detainees held in North Korea were permitted to speak with foreign media Monday. The government of Kim Jong Un restricted the topics of the questions, and the interviews in Pyongyang were limited to five minutes. Each of the men asked Washington to send a representative to Pyongyang to secure his release. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti has our story.
Video

Video Turkmen From Amerli Describe Survival of IS Siege

Over the past few weeks, hundreds of Shi'ite Turkmen have fled the town of Amerli seeking refuge in the northern city of Kirkuk. Despite recent military gains after U.S. airstrikes that were coordinated with Iraqi and Kurdish forces, the situation remains dire for Amerli’s residents. Sebastian Meyer went to Kirkuk for VOA to speak to those who managed to escape.
Video

Video West Africa Ebola Vaccine Trials Possible by Early 2015

A U.S. health agency is speeding up clinical trials of a possible vaccine against the deadly Ebola virus that so far has killed more than 1,500 people in West Africa. If successful, the next step would be a larger trial in countries where the outbreak is occurring. VOA's Carol Pearson has more.
Video

Video Survivors Commemorate 70th Anniversary of Nazi Liquidation of Jewish Ghetto

When the German Nazi army occupied the Polish city of Lodz in 1939, it marked the beginning of a long nightmare for the Jewish community that once made up one third of the population. Roughly 200,000 people were forced into the Lodz Ghetto. Less than 7,000 survived. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, some survivors gathered at the Union League Club in Chicago on the 70th anniversary of the liquidation of the Lodz Ghetto to remember those who suffered at the hands of the Nazi regime.

AppleAndroid