News / Africa

Obama Tells Gadhafi to Stop Attacks on Innocent Citizens

President Barack Obama makes a statement on Libya, in the East Room of the White House in Washington, D.C., March 18, 2011
President Barack Obama makes a statement on Libya, in the East Room of the White House in Washington, D.C., March 18, 2011

Multimedia

Meredith Buel

U.S. President Barack Obama is warning Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi that his forces must stop attacking innocent civilians or face military action.  

NATO countries have begun moving planes and other military assets closer to Libya to enforce the U.N. Security Council resolution authorizing a no-fly zone and military strikes against government forces.

Troops loyal to Moammar Gadhafi have launched a brutal crackdown against rebels trying to end his more than 40 years in power.

Gadhafi's forces are closing in on the rebel stronghold of Benghazi and western leaders are worried about the potential for a bloody battle there.

The president said, "Left unchecked, we have every reason to believe that Gadhafi would commit atrocities against his people. Many thousands could die. A humanitarian crisis would ensue. The entire region could be destabilized, endangering many of our allies and partners."

Obama said Gadhafi's troops must stop attacking civilians, halt military action against Benghazi and other cities, and allow humanitarian supplies to reach the civilian population.

"These terms are not subject to negotiation. If Gadhafi does not comply with the resolution, the international community will impose consequences, and the resolution will be enforced through military action."

Obama made no reference to Gadhafi's offer Friday of a cease-fire. U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton appeared skeptical.

"The first and overwhelmingly urgent action is to end the violence, and we have to see a very clear set of decisions that are operationalized on the ground by Gadhafi's forces to move physically a significant distance away from the east, where they have been pursuing their campaign against the opposition," said Clinton.

Clinton says a no-fly zone over Libya would involve bombing targets like anti-aircraft missiles and radar installations. She said Gadhafi has lost his legitimacy and must relinquish power.

"We do believe that a final result of any negotiations would have to be the decision by Colonel Gadhafi to leave. But let's take this one step at a time."

The United States does not support the direct intervention of ground troops into the conflict, but the U.S. Navy now has considerable assets just off the Libyan coast.

A no fly-zone over Libya is supported by the Arab League and U.S. officials say Arab governments must play a central role in any military action against Libya.

You May Like

UN Watchdog Urges Israel to Probe Possible Gaza War Crimes

More than 2,100 Palestinians, most of them civilians, were killed in a 51-day war in Gaza, along with 67 Israeli soldiers and six civilians in Israel More

New Kenyan 'Thin SIMs' Poised to Transform African Mobile Money

Equity's new technology is approved in African nation for one-year trial, though industry leader Safaricom says thin SIMs could lead to data theft and fraud More

Solar's Future Looks Brighter

New technology and dropping prices are contributing to a surge in solar power 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.
Talks to Resume on Winter Gas for Ukrainei
X
Al Pessin
October 25, 2014 4:21 PM
Ukrainian and Russian officials will meet again next week in an effort to settle their dispute over natural gas supplies that threatens to leave Ukraine short of heating fuel for the coming winter. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London the dispute is complex, and has both economic and geopolitical dimensions.
Video

Video Talks to Resume on Winter Gas for Ukraine

Ukrainian and Russian officials will meet again next week in an effort to settle their dispute over natural gas supplies that threatens to leave Ukraine short of heating fuel for the coming winter. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London the dispute is complex, and has both economic and geopolitical dimensions.
Video

Video Smugglers Offer Cheap Passage From Turkey to Syria

Smugglers in Turkey offer a relatively cheap passage across the border into Syria. Ankara has stepped up efforts to stem the flow of foreign fighters who want to join Islamic State militants fighting for control of the Syrian border city of Kobani. But porous borders and border guards who can be bribed make illegal border crossings quite easy. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video China Political Meeting Seeks to Improve Rule of Law

China’s communist leaders will host a top level political meeting this week, called the Fourth Plenum, and for the first time in the party’s history, rule of law will be a key item on the agenda. Analysts and Chinese media reports say the meetings could see the approval of long-awaited measures aimed at giving courts more independence and include steps to enhance an already aggressive and high-reaching anti-corruption drive. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
Video

Video After Decades of Pressure, Luxembourg Drops Bank Secrecy Rules

European Union finance ministers have reached a breakthrough agreement that will make it more difficult for tax cheats to hide their money. The new legislation, which had been blocked for years by countries with a reputation as tax havens, was approved last week after Luxembourg and Austria agreed to lift their vetoes. But as Mil Arcega reports, it doesn’t mean tax cheats have run out of places to keep their money hidden.
Video

Video Kobani Refugees Welcome, Turkey Criticizes, US Airdrop

Residents of Kobani in northern Syria have welcomed the airdrop of weapons, ammunition and medicine to Kurdish militia who are resisting the seizure of their city by Islamic State militants. The Turkish government, however, has criticized the operation. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from southeastern Turkey, across the border from Kobani.
Video

Video US ‘Death Cafes’ Put Focus on the Finale

In contemporary America, death usually is a topic to be avoided. But the growing “death café” movement encourages people to discuss their fears and desires about their final moments. VOA’s Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Ebola Orphanage Opens in Sierra Leone

Sierra Leone's first Ebola orphanage has opened in the Kailahun district. Hundreds of children orphaned since the beginning of the Ebola outbreak face stigma and rejection with nobody to care for them. Adam Bailes reports for VOA about a new interim care center that's aimed at helping the growing number of children affected by Ebola.

All About America

AppleAndroid