News / Africa

Opposition Hopes to Gain Information from Libyan Defector

A rebel lashes a high-caliber machine gun, fitted with boots, to the roof of a car with a shoelace at a checkpoint, west of Ajdabiyah, March 31, 2011
A rebel lashes a high-caliber machine gun, fitted with boots, to the roof of a car with a shoelace at a checkpoint, west of Ajdabiyah, March 31, 2011

Multimedia

Audio
  • Clottey interview with Awad Juma, a member of the rebels fighting forces loyal to Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi

Peter Clottey

A member of the rebels fighting forces loyal to Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi says members of the Transitional Council have begun efforts to gain “strategic” information from defecting Foreign Minister Moussa Koussa in their objective to force the embattled leader from power.

Awad Juma says recent defections are, in his words, the beginning of the end of Gadhafi’s over four-decade year rule.

“I don’t think a foreign minister defecting [from] his government is insignificant. The guy [Moussa Koussa] has got a lot of information to tell; he’s got information about [the 1988 Pan Am] Lockerbie bombing. He was [the] hand to carry out a lot of dirty jobs for Gadhafi. So, saying it is not significant, I think Gadhafi is playing down the loss as if it’s not important,” Juma said.

“They [Transitional Council] are already trying to get in touch with him [Moussa Koussa]. But, he is watching his steps carefully because he didn’t declare that he is joining the rebels yet. I don’t know if he wants some guarantees,” he added.

Juma says the defections are growing signs of weakness of the Gadhafi administration despite its sharp denial that the defections have had no effect on the ongoing crisis.

“There is Ali Treki [who] refused appointment to replace the representative to the United Nations. He declared his resignation from Gadhafi’s regime. And, this is another beginning of his fall because they have been with him for 42 years,” Juma said.

“We know that Gadhafi is holding the whole cabinet at gunpoint in his barracks with their families. Even if one of them goes on a mission, he goes by himself, while his family is held at gunpoint until they come back. This sounds like fiction, but this is what Gadhafi does,” he added.

Libya's FM Moussa Koussa holds a news conference in Tripoli Mar 18 2011
Libya's FM Moussa Koussa holds a news conference in Tripoli Mar 18 2011

Meanwhile, U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates has repeated his strong opposition to putting any American forces in Libya.

Gates insisted Thursday there will be no U.S. military boots on the ground “as long as I am in this job.” He spoke as U.S. media reported that the Central Intelligence Agency has small teams working with anti-government rebels in the North African country,

Reports say the teams were sent to gather intelligence and make contact with opposition forces. Gates said he could not “speak for the CIA” about its role. He acknowledged the United States has information only “on a handful of [the] rebels” trying to topple Gadhafi.

Gates told a U.S. congressional hearing that political and economic pressures will eventually drive Gadhafi from power. He says the NATO-led operation now under way can degrade the Libyan leader's military capacity, but that Gadhafi's removal will happen only over time and by his own people.

You May Like

Polls Open in Scotland Independence Vote

As race to persuade undecided voters continues, 'No' voters say they believe life in Scotland will slowly improve, 'Yes' vote not worth the risk More

South Africa’s 'Open Mosque' Admits Everyone, Including Critics

Open Mosque founder plans to welcome gay worshipers and allow women to lead prayers More

Ukrainian Activist in Despair About Future of Her Country

IrIna Dovgan, accused of being a spy and tortured by pro-Russian separatists, is appealing to UN Human Rights Council to support her country 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.
A Dinosaur Fit for Land and Wateri
X
September 17, 2014 8:44 PM
Residents and tourists in Washington D.C. can now examine a life-size replica of an unusual dinosaur that lived almost a hundred million years ago in northern Africa. Scientists say studying the behemoth named Spinosaurus helps them better understand how some prehistoric animals adapted to life on land and in water. The Spinosaurus replica is on display at the National Geographic museum. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video A Dinosaur Fit for Land and Water

Residents and tourists in Washington D.C. can now examine a life-size replica of an unusual dinosaur that lived almost a hundred million years ago in northern Africa. Scientists say studying the behemoth named Spinosaurus helps them better understand how some prehistoric animals adapted to life on land and in water. The Spinosaurus replica is on display at the National Geographic museum. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Iraqi Kurdistan Church Helps Christian Children Cope find shelter in churches in the Kurdish capital, Irbil

In the past six weeks, tens of thousands of Iraqi Christians have been forced to flee their homes by Islamic State militants and find shelter in churches in the Kurdish capital, Irbil. Despite U.S. airstrikes in the region, the prospect of people returning home is still very low and concerns are starting to grow over the impact this is having on the displaced youth. Sebastian Meyer reports from Irbil on how one church is coping.
Video

Video NASA Picks Boeing, SpaceX to Carry Astronauts Into Space

The U.S. space agency, NASA, has chosen Boeing and SpaceX companies to build the next generation of spacecraft that will carry U.S. astronauts to the International Space Station by the year 2017. The deal with private industry enables NASA to end its dependence on Russia to send space crews into low Earth orbit and back. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video Future of Ukrainian Former President's Estate Uncertain

More than six months after Ukraine's former President Viktor Yanukovych fled revolution to Russia, authorities have yet to gain control of his palatial estate. Protesters occupy the grounds and opened it to tourists but they are also refusing to turn it over to the state. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Mezhigirya, just north of Kyiv.
Video

Video China Muslims Work to Change Perceptions After Knife Attacks

China says its has sentenced three men to death and one woman to life in prison for a deadly knife attack in March that left more than 30 dead and 140 injured. Beijing says Muslim militants from China's restive western region of Xinjiang carried out the attacks. Now, more than six months after the incident, residents in the city are still coping with the aftermath. VOA's Bill Ide has more from Kunming.
Video

Video Enviropreneur Seeks to Save the Environment, Empower the Community

Lorna Rutto, a former banker, is now an ‘enviropreneur’ - turning plastic waste into furniture and fences discusses the challenges she faces in Africa with raw materials and the environment.
Video

Video West Trades Accusations Over Ransoms

As world leaders try to forge a common response to the threat posed by Islamic State militants in Iraq and Syria, there is simmering tension over differing policies on paying ransoms. In the past month, the jihadist group has beheaded two Americans and one Briton. Both countries refuse to pay ransom money. As Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London, there is uncertainty in the approach of some other European nations.
Video

Video Scotland Independence Bid Stokes Global Interest

The people of Scotland are preparing to vote on whether to become independent and break away from the rest of Britain, in a referendum being watched carefully in many other countries. Some see it as a risky experiment; while others hope a successful vote for independence might energize their own separatist demands. Foreign immigrants to Scotland have a front row seat for the vote. VOA’s Henry Ridgwell spoke to some of them in Edinburgh.


Carnage and mayhem are part of daily life in northern Nigeria, the result of a terror campaign by the Islamist group Boko Haram. Fears are growing that Nigeria’s government may not know how to counter it, and may be making things worse. More

AppleAndroid