News / Africa

Libya's Gadhafi Vows He Will Not Leave

This image broadcast on Libyan state television Feb. 22, 2011, shows Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi as he addresses the nation in Tripoli
This image broadcast on Libyan state television Feb. 22, 2011, shows Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi as he addresses the nation in Tripoli

Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi says anti-government protests will not force him out, and that he expects to die a "martyr" in Libya.

Mr. Gadhafi spoke on Libyan state television Tuesday in his first detailed address to the country since the bloody wave of demonstrations began. He urged his supporters to help defend Libya against people he called "gangs" and "terrorists." Clenching a green book that appeared to be a guide to his political philosophy, he threatened the death penalty for anyone who takes up arms against Libya or engages in espionage.

Also Tuesday, one of Mr. Gadhafi's closest associates, Interior Minister Abdel Fattah Younis, announced his defection and support for the "February 17 revolution." Speaking to Al Jazeera television from the protester-held eastern city of Benghazi, Younis urged other armed forces to join the people and their "legitimate demands."

Numerous high-level Libyan officials, including ministers, diplomats and military officers, have abandoned the regime and announced their support for the rebellion.

Meanwhile, U.N. Under-Secretary-General for Political Affairs Lynn Pasco, said United Nations staff in Libya have seen aircraft and helicopters flying but could not confirm attacks against civilians. Lynn Pasco, speaking in New York, said the U.N. fears crimes against humanity have been committed in the North African nation and that the situation is deteriorating.

Libya's ambassador to the U.N. said the country's air force has not attacked civilians, but he acknowledged that most of Libya's eastern provinces are under the control of anti-regime forces. Abdurrahman Shalgham also said Libya's public prosecutor has begun an investigation into the deaths of protesters.

Witnesses in Tripoli say Libyan helicopter gunships and warplanes struck civilian areas Monday, while African mercenaries and pro-Gadhafi gunmen opened fire indiscriminately to terrorize the population. Human Rights Watch said it has received reports of at least 62 deaths in Tripoli since Sunday, on top of its previous toll of 233 dead, mostly in the country's eastern provinces.

The reports could not be independently confirmed because Libya has barred the entry of foreign journalists and cut some communication networks in the country.

The administration of U.S. President Barack Obama on Tuesday offered its condolences to the victims. White House spokesman Jay Carney condemned Libyan authorities for practicing "appalling violence" against the population.

Libyan diplomats in several countries say they have severed relations with Mr. Gadhafi to protest attacks by his forces on protesters. Libya's ambassador to the United States, Ali Aujali, called on the Libyan leader to step down. The Libyan ambassadors to India and Indonesia and a senior diplomat in China have all resigned.

Libya's embassies in Malaysia and Australia said they no longer represent Mr. Gadhafi. His Justice Minister Mustafa Abdel-Jalil resigned Monday in protest at the crackdown, while two Libyan fighter pilots flew their jets to Malta, saying they had defected after being ordered to attack demonstrators.

The protests represent the greatest challenge to Mr. Gadhafi's rule since he took power in 1969.

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

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

You May Like

Turkey's Controversial Reform Bill Giving Investors Jitters

Homeland security reform bill will give police new powers in search, seizure, detention and arrests, while restricting the rights of suspects, their attorneys More

Audio Slideshow In Kenyan Prison, Good Grades Are Path to Freedom

Some inmates who get high marks could see their sentences commuted to non-custodial status More

'Rumble in the Jungle' Turns 40

'The Champ' knocked Foreman out to regain crown he had lost 7 years earlier when US government accused him of draft-dodging and boxing officials revoked his license 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.
Victorious Secularists Face Challenge to Form Government in Tunisiai
X
Henry Ridgwell
October 30, 2014 11:39 PM
Official results from Tunisia show the Islamist Ennahda party has failed to win the second free election since the so-called "Arab Spring" uprising in 2011. Ennahda, which handed power to a government of technocrats pending the elections, lost out to the secular party Nidaa Tounes. Henry Ridgwell reports from London that the relatively peaceful poll offers some hope in a volatile region.
Video

Video Victorious Secularists Face Challenge to Form Government in Tunisia

Official results from Tunisia show the Islamist Ennahda party has failed to win the second free election since the so-called "Arab Spring" uprising in 2011. Ennahda, which handed power to a government of technocrats pending the elections, lost out to the secular party Nidaa Tounes. Henry Ridgwell reports from London that the relatively peaceful poll offers some hope in a volatile region.
Video

Video Africa Tells its Story Through Fashion

In Africa, Fashion Week is a riot of colors, shapes, patterns and fabrics - against the backdrop of its ongoing struggle between nature and its fast-growing urban edge. How do these ideas translate into needle and thread? VOA’s Anita Powell visited this year’s Mercedes Benz Fashion Week Africa in Johannesburg to find out.
Video

Video Smugglers Offer Cheap Passage From Turkey to Syria

Smugglers in Turkey offer a relatively cheap passage across the border into Syria. Ankara has stepped up efforts to stem the flow of foreign fighters who want to join Islamic State militants fighting for control of the Syrian border city of Kobani. But porous borders and border guards who can be bribed make illegal border crossings quite easy. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video China Political Meeting Seeks to Improve Rule of Law

China’s communist leaders will host a top level political meeting this week, called the Fourth Plenum, and for the first time in the party’s history, rule of law will be a key item on the agenda. Analysts and Chinese media reports say the meetings could see the approval of long-awaited measures aimed at giving courts more independence and include steps to enhance an already aggressive and high-reaching anti-corruption drive. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
Video

Video After Decades of Pressure, Luxembourg Drops Bank Secrecy Rules

European Union finance ministers have reached a breakthrough agreement that will make it more difficult for tax cheats to hide their money. The new legislation, which had been blocked for years by countries with a reputation as tax havens, was approved last week after Luxembourg and Austria agreed to lift their vetoes. But as Mil Arcega reports, it doesn’t mean tax cheats have run out of places to keep their money hidden.
Video

Video Kobani Refugees Welcome, Turkey Criticizes, US Airdrop

Residents of Kobani in northern Syria have welcomed the airdrop of weapons, ammunition and medicine to Kurdish militia who are resisting the seizure of their city by Islamic State militants. The Turkish government, however, has criticized the operation. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from southeastern Turkey, across the border from Kobani.

All About America

AppleAndroid