News / Africa

    Obama Condemns Libya Crackdown

    President Barack Obama speaks about the situation in Libya in the Grand Foyer of the White House, February 23, 2011, in Washington.
    President Barack Obama speaks about the situation in Libya in the Grand Foyer of the White House, February 23, 2011, in Washington.

    President Barack Obama on Wednesday strongly condemned Libyan government-sanctioned violence against demonstrators, and said the United States is stepping up international consultations on how to deal with the situation. The president appeared with Secretary of State Hillary Clinton after talks at the White House.

    The president's remarks came at the end of a day in which the United States intensified consultations with other governments to exert more pressure on the Libyan government to end violence against protesters, and worked to ensure that Americans trying to leave Libya can do so safely.

    Without mentioning Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi by name, Mr. Obama said the Libyan government will be held accountable for violence against peaceful protesters.  And he condemned the government-sanctioned violence.

    Watch Laurel Bowman's Companion TV Report:

    "The American people extend our deepest condolences to the families and loved ones to all who have been killed and injured.  The suffering and bloodshed is outrageous and it is unacceptable.  So are threats and orders to shoot peaceful protesters and further punish the people of Libya," he said.

    Saying that the Libyan government has a responsibility to refrain from violence, allow humanitarian assistance to reach those in need and respect the rights of its people, Mr. Obama said "it will also be held accountable for its failure to meet those responsibilities and face the cost of continued violations of human rights."

    At his side was Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, who spoke earlier at the State Department.  The president announced she will go to Geneva next week to attend a meeting of United Nations Human Rights Council foreign ministers to discuss the turmoil in the region.  

    The president also announced that U.S. Undersecretary of State for Political Affairs William Burns will make several stops in the region and in Europe as part of international consultations.

    Earlier, White House Press Secretary Jay Carney took reporters' questions about the implications of events in Libya for U.S. foreign policy and steps Washington might take. "The most effective action here will be taken in a united way by the United States, with its international partners.  That will have hopefully the most significant impact on the behavior of the Libyan government," he said.

    Carney said the United States is considering "multilateral actions as well as bilateral actions," but he declined to discuss options that have been suggested such as establishment of a no-fly zone over Libya or possible NATO involvement.  

    Carney said President Obama's speech in Cairo in 2009, in which he called on countries to respond to democratic aspirations, could be seen as a starting point to understand the U.S. perspective and policy toward the region amid the recent turmoil.

    In his remarks on Tuesday, President Obama reiterated that unrest in the region is being driven by people's desire for change. "Let me be clear.  The change that is taking place across the region is being driven by the people of the region.  This change doesn't represent the work of the United States or any foreign power.  It represents the aspirations of people who are seeking a better life," he said.

    Even as his administration looks at "the full range of options" to respond to the crisis in Libya, President Obama said the United States continues to address events elsewhere, including how to "most effectively support the peaceful transition to democracy in both Tunisia and Egypt."

    You May Like

    Saudi Arabia’s New Female Politicians in the Other Room 

    Many in Saudi Arabia say elected representatives should share unsegregated spaces; according to a recent survey, more than half the Saudi population, both men and women, prefer to work in a segregated place

    Russia Not ‘Apologetic’ for Syria Airstrikes

    With Moscow criticized for targeting armed opponents of President Assad, Russia’s UN envoy says his country ‘acting in a very transparent manner’

    Pakistan Warns of Islamic State's Growing Reach

    Aftab Sultan, General Director General of Intelligence Bureau (IB), briefed Senate Committee in closed hearing, saying that IS-linked groups have been expanding in Pakistan

    This forum has been closed.
    Comments
         
    There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

    By the Numbers

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Russia's Car Sales Shrink Overall, But Luxury and Economy Models See Growthi
    X
    February 10, 2016 5:54 AM
    Car sales in Russia dropped by more than a third in 2015 because of the country's economic woes. But, at the extreme ends of the car market, luxury vehicles and some economy brands are actually experiencing growth. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Moscow.
    Video

    Video Russia's Car Sales Shrink Overall, But Luxury and Economy Models See Growth

    Car sales in Russia dropped by more than a third in 2015 because of the country's economic woes. But, at the extreme ends of the car market, luxury vehicles and some economy brands are actually experiencing growth. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Moscow.
    Video

    Video Civil Rights Pioneer Remembers Struggle for Voting Rights

    February is Black History Month in the United States. The annual, month-long national observance pays tribute to important people and events that shaped the history of African Americans. VOA's Chris Simkins reports how one man fought against discrimination to help millions of blacks obtain the right to vote
    Video

    Video Jordanian Theater Group Stages Anti-Terrorism Message

    The lure of the self-styled “Islamic State” has many parents worried about their children who may be susceptible to the organization’s online propaganda. Dozens of Muslim communities in the Middle East are fighting back -- giving young adults alternatives to violence. One group in Jordan is using dramatic expression a send a family message. Mideast Broadcasting Network correspondent Haider Al Abdali shared this report with VOA. It’s narrated by Bronwyn Benito
    Video

    Video Migrant Crisis Fuels Debate Over Britain’s Future in EU

    The migrant crisis in Europe is fueling the debate in Britain ahead of a referendum on staying in the European Union that may be held this year. Prime Minister David Cameron warns that leaving the EU could lead to thousands more migrants arriving in the country. Meanwhile, tension is rising in Calais, France, where thousands of migrants are living in squalid camps. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
    Video

    Video Valentine's Day Stinks for Lebanese Clowns

    This weekend, on Valentine's Day in Lebanon, love is not the only thing in the air. More than half a year after the country's trash crisis began, the stink of uncollected garbage remains on the streets. Step forward "Clown Me In," a group of clowns who use their skills for activism. Before the most romantic day of the year the clowns have released their unusual take on love in Lebanon -- in a bid to keep the pressure up and get the trash off the streets. John Owens reports from Beirut.
    Video

    Video Families Flee Aleppo for Kurdish Regions in Syria

    Not all who flee the fighting in Aleppo are trying to cross the border into Turkey. A VOA reporter caught up with several families heading for Kurdish-held areas of northern Syria.
    Video

    Video Rocky Year Ahead for Nigeria Amid Oil Price Crash

    The global fall in the price of oil has rattled the economies of many petroleum exporters, and Africa’s oil king Nigeria is no exception. As Chris Stein reports from Lagos, analysts are predicting a rough year ahead for the continent’s top producer of crude.
    Video

    Video 'No Means No' Program Targets Sexual Violence in Kenya

    The organizers of an initiative to reduce and stop rape in the informal settlements around Kenya's capital say their program is having marked success. Girls are taking self-defense classes while the boys are learning how to protect the girls and respect them. Lenny Ruvaga reports from Nairobi.
    Video

    Video Chocolate Lovers Get a Sweet History Lesson

    Observed in many countries around the world, Valentine’s Day is sometimes celebrated with chocolate festivals. But at a festival near Washington, the visitors experience a bit more than a sugar rush. They go on a sweet journey through history. VOA’s June Soh takes us to the festival.
    Video

    Video 'Smart' Bandages Could Heal Wounds More Quickly

    Simple bandages are usually seen as the first line of attack in healing small to moderate wounds and burns. But scientists say new synthetic materials with embedded microsensors could turn bandages into a much more valuable tool for emergency physicians. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Researchers Use 3-D Printer to Produce Transplantable Body Parts

    Human organ transplants have become fairly common around the world in the past few decades. Researchers at various universities are coordinating their efforts to find solutions -- including teams at the University of Pennsylvania and Rice University in Houston that are experimenting with a 3-D printer -- to make blood vessels and other structures for implant. As VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Houston, they are also using these artificial body parts to seek ways of defeating cancerous tumors.
    Video

    Video Helping the Blind 'See' Great Art

    There are 285 million blind and visually impaired people in the world who are unable to enjoy visual art at a museum. One New York photographer is trying to fix this situation by making tangible copies of the world’s masterpieces. VOA correspondent Victoria Kupchinetsky was there as visually impaired people got a feel for great art. Joy Wagner narrates her report.
    Video

    Video German Artists to Memorialize Refugees With Life Jacket Exhibit

    Sold in every kind of shop in some Turkish port towns, life jackets have become a symbol of the refugee crisis that brought a million people to Europe in 2015.  On the shores of Lesbos, Greece, German artists collect discarded life jackets as they prepare an art installation they plan to display in Germany.  For VOA, Hamada Elrasam has this report from Lesbos, Greece.
    Video

    Video E-readers Help Ease Africa's Book Shortage

    Millions of people in Africa can't read, and there's a chronic shortage of books. A non-profit organization called Worldreader is trying to help change all that one e-reader at a time. VOA’s Deborah Block tells us about a girls' school in Nairobi, Kenya where Worldreader is making a difference.