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

    US Leaders Who Served in Vietnam War Look Back and Ahead

    In New York Times opinion piece, Secretary of State John Kerry, Senator John McCain and former Senator Bob Kerrey say as US strengthens relations with Vietnam, it is important to remember lessons learned from war

    Who Are US Allies in Fight Against Islamic State?

    There is little but opportunism keeping coalition together analysts warn — SDFs Arab militias are not united even among themselves, frequently squabble and don’t share Kurds' vision for post-Assad Syria

    Learning Foreign Language Helps US Soldiers Bridge Culture Gap

    Effective interaction with local populations part of everyday curriculum at Monterey, California, Defense Language Institute

    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.
    Vietnamese-American Youth Optimistic About Obama's Visit to Vietnami
    X
    Elizabeth Lee
    May 22, 2016 6:04 AM
    U.S. President Barack Obama's visit to Vietnam later this month comes at a time when Vietnam is seeking stronger ties with the United States. Many Vietnamese Americans, especially the younger generation, are optimistic Obama’s trip will help further reconciliation between the two former foes. Elizabeth Lee has more from the community called "Little Saigon" located south of Los Angeles.
    Video

    Video Vietnamese-American Youth Optimistic About Obama's Visit to Vietnam

    U.S. President Barack Obama's visit to Vietnam later this month comes at a time when Vietnam is seeking stronger ties with the United States. Many Vietnamese Americans, especially the younger generation, are optimistic Obama’s trip will help further reconciliation between the two former foes. Elizabeth Lee has more from the community called "Little Saigon" located south of Los Angeles.
    Video

    Video First-generation, Afghan-American Student Sets Sights on Basketball Glory

    Their parents are immigrants to the United States. They are kids who live between two worlds -- their parents' homeland and the U.S. For many of them, they feel most "American" at school. It can be tricky balancing both worlds. In this report, produced by Beth Mendelson, Arash Arabasadi tells us about one Afghan-American student who seems to be coping -- one shot at a time.
    Video

    Video Newest US Citizens, Writing the Next Great Chapter

    While universities across the United States honor their newest graduates this Friday, many immigrants in downtown Manhattan are celebrating, too. One hundred of them, representing 31 countries across four continents, graduated as U.S. citizens, joining the ranks of 680,000 others every year in New York and cities around the country.
    Video

    Video Vietnam Sees Strong Economic Growth Despite Incomplete Reforms

    Vietnam has transformed its communist economy to become one of the world's fastest-growing nations. While the reforms are incomplete, multinational corporations see a profitable future in Vietnam and have made major investments -- as VOA's Jim Randle reports.
    Video

    Video Qatar Denies World Cup Corruption

    The head of Qatar’s organizing committee for the 2022 World Cup insists his country's bid to host the soccer tournament was completely clean, despite the corruption scandals that have rocked the sport’s governing body, FIFA. Hassan Al-Thawadi also said new laws would offer protection to migrants working on World Cup construction projects. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
    Video

    Video Infrastructure Funding Puts Cambodia on Front Line of International Politics

    When leaders of the world’s seven most developed economies meet in Japan next week, demands for infrastructure investment world wide will be high on the agenda. Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s push for “quality infrastructure investment” throughout Asia has been widely viewed as a counter to the rise of Chinese investment flooding into region.
    Video

    Video Democrats Fear Party Unity a Casualty in Clinton-Sanders Battle

    Democratic presidential front-runner Hillary Clinton claimed a narrow victory in Tuesday's Kentucky primary even as rival Bernie Sanders won in Oregon. Tensions between the two campaigns are rising, prompting fears that the party will have a difficult time unifying to face the presumptive Republican nominee, Donald Trump. VOA national correspondent Jim Malone has more from Washington.
    Video

    Video Portrait of a Transgender Marriage: Husband and Wife Navigate New Roles

    As controversy continues in North Carolina over the use of public bathrooms by transgender individuals, personal struggles with gender identity that were once secret are now coming to light. VOA’s Tina Trinh explored the ramifications for one couple as part of trans.formation, a series of stories on transgender issues.
    Video

    Video Amerikan Hero Flips Stereotype of Middle Eastern Character

    An Iranian American comedian is hoping to connect with American audiences through a film that inverts some of Hollywood's stereotypes about Middle Eastern characters. Sama Dizayee reports.
    Video

    Video Budding Young Inventors Tackle City's Problems with 3-D Printing

    Every city has problems, and local officials and politicians are often frustrated by their inability to solve them. But surprising solutions can come from unexpected places. Students in Baltimore. Maryland, took up the challenge to solve problems they identified in their city, and came up with projects and products to make a difference. VOA's June Soh has more on a digital fabrication competition primarily focused on 3-D design and printing. Carol Pearson narrates.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora