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

Multimedia Obama Defends Immigration Action

Obama says with his executive action on immigration, enforcement resources will be focused on 'felons, not families; criminals, not children' More

US-Led Airstrikes in Syria Kill Over 900: Monitoring Group

British-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights says the toll includes more than 50 civilians, five of them women and eight of them children More

Report: Obama Broadens US Combat Role in Afghanistan

The New York Times says resident Barack Obama has signed a classified order extending the role of US troops in Afghanistan for another year 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.
New Skateboard Defies Gravityi
X
November 21, 2014 5:07 AM
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 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 Gay Evangelicals Argue That Bible Does Not Condemn Homosexuality

More than 30 U.S. states now recognize same-sex marriages, and an increasing number of mainline American churches are blessing them. But evangelical church members- which account for around 30 percent of the U.S. adult population - believe the Bible unequivocally condemns homosexuality. VOA's Jerome Socolovsky reports that gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender evangelicals are coming out. Backed by a prominent evangelical scholar, they argue that the traditional reading of the bible is wrong.
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 Mexico Protests Escalate Over Disappearances

Protests in Mexico over 43 students missing since September continue to escalate, reflecting growing anger among Mexicans about a political system they view as corrupt, and increasingly tainted by the drug trade. Mounting outrage over the disappearances is now focused on the government of President Enrique Pena Nieto, accused of not doing enough to end insecurity in the country. More from VOA's Victoria Macchi.
Video

Video US Senate Votes Down Controversial Oil Pipeline - For Now

The U.S. Senate has rejected construction of a controversial pipeline to transport Canadian oil to American refineries. The $5 billion project still could be approved next year, but it faces a possible veto by President Barack Obama. As VOA’s Michael Bowman reports, the pipeline has exposed deep divisions in Congress about America’s energy future.
Video

Video Can Minsk Cease-fire Agreement Hold?

Growing tensions between government troops and separatists in eastern Ukraine further threaten a cease-fire agreement reached two months ago in the Belarusian capital of Minsk. Critics of U.S. policy in Ukraine say it is time the Obama administration gives up on that much-violated cease-fire and moves toward a new deal with Russia. VOA's Scott Stearns has more.
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.
Video

Video Ferguson Church Grapples with Race Relations

Many white residents of Ferguson, Missouri, say they chose to live there because of the American Midwest community's diversity. So, they were shocked when a white police officer killed an unarmed black teenager in August – and shaken by the resulting protests and violence. Some local churches are leading conversations on how to go forward. VOA’s Ayesha Tanzeem reports.

All About America

AppleAndroid