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
TEXT SIZE - +
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

Multimedia Anti-Keystone XL Protests Continue

Demonstrators are worried about pipeline's effect on climate change, their traditional way of life, health and safety More

Thailand's Political Power Struggle Continues

Court gave Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra until May 2 to prepare her defense over abuse of power charges but uncertainty remains over election timing More

Malaysia Plane Search Tests Limits of Ocean Mapping Technology

Expert tells VOA existing equipment’s maximum operating depth is around 6 kilometers as operation continues on ocean bed for any trace of MH370 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.
Pet Kangaroo Helps Spread Environmental Messagei
X
Penelope Poulou
April 22, 2014 5:53 PM
Children’s author Julia Heckathorn travels the world to learn about different ecosystems and endangered animals. She pours her knowledge into children’s books, hoping the next generation will right the environmental wrongs of our times. As in many children's books, the main character in Heckathorn's stories is an animal. Unlike those other characters, though, this one is real - a kangaroo, that lives in the author’s backyard. VOA’s Penelope Poulou has more.
Video

Video Pet Kangaroo Helps Spread Environmental Message

Children’s author Julia Heckathorn travels the world to learn about different ecosystems and endangered animals. She pours her knowledge into children’s books, hoping the next generation will right the environmental wrongs of our times. As in many children's books, the main character in Heckathorn's stories is an animal. Unlike those other characters, though, this one is real - a kangaroo, that lives in the author’s backyard. VOA’s Penelope Poulou has more.
Video

Video Pro-Russian Separatists Plan 'Federalization Referendum' in Eastern Ukraine

Pro-Russian separatists in eastern Ukraine say they plan to move forward next month with a referendum vote for greater autonomy, despite the Geneva agreement reached with Russia, the U.S. and Ukraine to end the political conflict. VOA's Brian Padden reports from the city of Donetsk in Eastern Ukraine.
Video

Video Pope Francis Hopes Dual Canonizations Will Reconcile Church

On April 27, two popes - John the XXIII and John Paul II - will be made saints in a ceremony at St. Peter’s Square. VOA religion correspondent Jerome Socolovsky says the dual canonization is part of the current pope’s program to reconcile liberals and conservatives in the Roman Catholic Church.
Video

Video In Capturing Nature's Majesty, Film Makes Case for Its Survival

French filmmaker Luc Jacquet won worldwide acclaim for his 2005 Academy Award-winning documentary "March of the Penguins". Now Jacquet is back with a new film that takes movie-goers deep into the heart of a tropical rainforest - not only to celebrate its grandeur, but to make the case for its survival. VOA's Rosanne Skirble reports.
Video

Video Boston Marathon Bittersweet for Many Runners

Monday's running of the Boston Marathon was bittersweet for many of the 36,000 participants as they finished the run that was interrupted by a double bombing last year. Many gathered along the route paid respect to the four people killed as a result of two bombings near the finish line. VOA's Carolyn Presutti returned to Boston this year to follow two runners, forever changed because of the crimes.
Video

Video International Students Learn Film Production in World's Movie Capital

Hollywood - which is part of Los Angeles - is the movie capital of the world, and many aspiring filmmakers go there in hopes of breaking into the movie business. Mike O'Sullivan reports that regional universities are also a magnet for students who hope to become producers or directors.
Video

Video Pacific Rim Trade Deal Proves Elusive

With the U.S.-led war in Iraq ended and American military involvement in Afghanistan winding down, President Barack Obama has sought to pivot the country's foreign policy focus towards Asia. One aspect of that pivot is the negotiation of a free-trade agreement among 12 Pacific Rim nations. But as Obama leaves this week on a trip to four Asian countries he has found it very difficult to complete the trade pact. VOA's Ken Bredemeier has more from Washington.
Video

Video Autistic Adults Face Housing, Job Challenges

Many parents of children with disabilities fear for the future of their adult child. It can be difficult to find services to help adults with disabilities - physical, mental or emotional - find work or live on their own. The mother of an autistic boy set up a foundation to advocate for the estimated 1.2 million American adults with autism, a developmental disorder that causes communication difficulties and often social difficulties. VOA's Faiza Elmasry reports.
AppleAndroid