News / Africa

Obama Speech Buoys Residents in Rebel-Held Eastern Libya

Libyan rebels jump onto back of their vehicle as they leave Ras Lanouf in central Libya after Gadhafi's forces drove rebels out of Bin Jawwad, a hamlet east of Sirte, March 29, 2011
Libyan rebels jump onto back of their vehicle as they leave Ras Lanouf in central Libya after Gadhafi's forces drove rebels out of Bin Jawwad, a hamlet east of Sirte, March 29, 2011

Multimedia

Audio
Scott Bobb

Residents of eastern Libya under the control of opponents of leader Moammar Gadhafi are reacting with approval to President Barack Obama’s remarks Monday night on the international coalition’s role in their country’s conflict. But many say they wish the coalition would do more to help them.

A spokesman for the Provisional Council governing eastern Libya, Essam Gheriani, said Tuesday that Obama’s message sought to balance the needs of the Libyan opposition with the expectations of the international community and American people.

"He has to comply with the resolution of the Security Council number 1973. The imposition of the no-fly zone was accomplished. The protection of the civilian population is being carried out quite well. Benghazi was saved, actually, by the strikes carried here out last Saturday," said Gheriani.

Gheriani expressed concern, however, over the siege of Libya’s third largest city, Misrata. He said it has been virtually sealed off by pro-Gadhafi troops and is facing a humanitarian crisis due to a lack of food and medicine.

Other residents here said they wished the international coalition would go further and provide arms to the opposition. They said otherwise resistance will be long and hard against the Libyan leader’s better trained and better equipped forces.

Lawyer Ramadan Shembesh disagreed with the desire expressed by several Western leaders for a peaceful end to Gadhafi’s 41-year-old rule. "Gadhafi will never leave peacefully. We know that. And he said so. From the beginning he said, 'I will never go out of the country. I will stay until the last drop of my blood.'"

Engineer Farage Omar, who was a political prisoner for two years, said he understood the concerns, especially in the Arab world, over any foreign military intervention in the region. He said Libya’s situation, though, is different from countries like Afghanistan or Iraq.

"Now we feel that they [the coalition] have really fulfilled the humane part that we deal with and they understand us. And I wish they continue with this, not just until after Gadhafi goes, but support us until we make a democratic country that stands with strong feet on the ground."

Omar said most Libyans are seeking the establishment of democratic institutions that will allow them to choose their leaders and form of government and live in freedom.

You May Like

Lesotho Faces New Round of Violence, Political Crisis

Brutal killing of military officer has sent former leaders back into S. Africa where they're watching anxiously as regional officials head in to try to restore peace More

Video US Diplomat Expects Adoption of Bosnian Massacre Anniversary Resolution

Samantha Power says there's broad consensus about killings in Bosnia's war, but Russia calls resolution 'divisive,' backs UN countermeasure More

UN Report Exposes Widespread Boko Haram Atrocities

Damning report graphically details pattern of vicious, widespread atrocities committed by Islamist militants 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.
Olympics Construction Scars Sacred Korean Mountaini
X
July 02, 2015 4:10 AM
Environmentalists in South Korea are protesting a Winter Olympics construction project to build a ski slope through a 500-year-old protected forest. Brian Padden reports that although there is strong national support for hosting the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics, there are growing public concerns over the costs and possible ecological damage at the revered mountain.
Video

Video Olympics Construction Scars Sacred Korean Mountain

Environmentalists in South Korea are protesting a Winter Olympics construction project to build a ski slope through a 500-year-old protected forest. Brian Padden reports that although there is strong national support for hosting the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics, there are growing public concerns over the costs and possible ecological damage at the revered mountain.
Video

Video Xenophobia Victims in South Africa Flee Violence, Then Return

Many Malawians fled South Africa early this year after xenophobic attacks on African immigrants. But many quickly found life was no better at home and have returned to South Africa – often illegally and without jobs, and facing the tough task of having to start over. Lameck Masina and Anita Powell file from Johannesburg.
Video

Video Family of American Marine Calls for Release From Iranian Prison

As the crowd of journalists covering the Iran talks swells, so too do the opportunities for media coverage.  Hoping to catch the attention of high-level diplomats, the family of American-Iranian marine Amir Hekmati is in Vienna, pleading for his release from an Iranian prison after nearly 4 years.  VOA’s Heather Murdock reports from Vienna.
Video

Video UK Holds Terror Drill as MPs Mull Tunisia Response

After pledging a tough response to last Friday’s terror attack in Tunisia, which came just days before the 10th anniversary of the bomb attacks on London’s transport network, British security services are shifting their focus to overseas counter-terror operations. VOA's Henry Ridgwell has more.
Video

Video Obama on Cuba: This is What Change Looks Like

President Barack Obama says the United States will soon reopen its embassy in Cuba for the first time since 1961, ending a half-century of isolation. VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.
Video

Video Hate Groups Spread Influence Via Internet

Hate groups of various kinds are using the Internet for propaganda and recruitment, and a Jewish human rights organization that monitors these groups, the Simon Wiesenthal Center, says their influence is growing. The messages are different, but the calls to hatred or violence are similar. VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports.
Video

Video US Silica Sand Mining Surge Worries Illinois Residents, Businesses

Increased domestic U.S. oil and gas production, thanks to advances known as “fracking,” has created a boom for other industries supporting that extraction. Demand for silica sand, used in fracking, could triple over the next five years. In the Midwest state of Illinois, people living near the mines are worried about how increased silica sand mining will affect their businesses and their health. VOA’s Kane Farabaugh has more in this first of a series of reports.
Video

Video Blind Somali Journalist Defies Odds in Mogadishu

Despite improving security in the last few years, Somalia remains one of the most dangerous countries to be a journalist – even more so for someone who cannot see. Abdulaziz Billow has the story of journalist Abdifatah Hassan Kalgacal, who has been reporting from the Somali capital for the last decade despite being blind.
Video

Video Texas Defies Same-Sex Marriage Ruling

Texas state officials have criticized the US Supreme Court decision giving same-sex couples the right to marry nationwide. The attorney general of Texas says last week's decision did not overrule constitutional "rights of religious liberty," and therefore officials performing wedding services can refuse to perform them for same-sex couples if it is against their religious beliefs. Zlatica Hoke reports on the controversy.
Video

Video Rabbi Hits Road to Heal Jewish-Muslim Relations in France

France is on high alert after last week's terrorist attack near the city Lyon, just six months after deadly Paris shootings. The attack have added new tensions to relations between French Jews and Muslims. France’s Jewish and Muslim communities also share a common heritage, though, and as far as one French rabbi is concerned, they are destined to be friends. From the Paris suburb of La Courneuve, Lisa Bryant reports about Rabbi Michel Serfaty and his friendship bus.
Video

Video Saudi Leaks Expose ‘Checkbook Diplomacy’ In Battle With Iran

Saudi Arabia’s willingness to wield its oil money on the global diplomatic stage appears to have been laid bare, after the website WikiLeaks published tens of thousands of leaked cables from Riyadh’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video In Kenya, Police Said to Shoot First, Ask Questions Later

An organization that documents torture and extrajudicial killings says Kenyan police were responsible for 1,252 shooting deaths in five cities, including Nairobi, between 2009 and 2014, representing 67 percent of all gun deaths in the areas reviewed. Gabe Joselow has more from Nairobi.

VOA Blogs