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

Lebanese Media Unite to Support Palestinians in Gaza

Joint newscast billed as Arab world’s first unified news bulletin in support of Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip More

Photogallery Australian PM Alleges ‘Coverup’ at MH17 Crash Site

Meanwhile, Russia's ambassador to Malaysia denies plane's black boxes were opened before they were handed over to Malaysian officials More

Despite Advances in AIDS Treatment, Stigma Lingers

Leading immunologist tells VOA that stigma is often what prevents those infected with disease from seeking treatment 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.
IAEA: Iran Turns its Enriched Uranium Into Less Harmful Formi
X
July 22, 2014 10:26 AM
Iran has converted its stockpiles of enriched uranium into a less dangerous form that is more difficult to use for nuclear weapons, according to the United Nations’ Atomic Energy Agency. The move complies with an interim deal reached with Western powers on Iran's nuclear program last year, in exchange for easing of sanctions. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video IAEA: Iran Turns its Enriched Uranium Into Less Harmful Form

Iran has converted its stockpiles of enriched uranium into a less dangerous form that is more difficult to use for nuclear weapons, according to the United Nations’ Atomic Energy Agency. The move complies with an interim deal reached with Western powers on Iran's nuclear program last year, in exchange for easing of sanctions. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video Relic of Saint Draws Catholics Worried About Immigration Issue

A Roman Catholic saint who is a figure of devotion for those crossing the border into the United States is attracting believers concerned about the plight of undocumented immigrants. Mike O'Sullivan reports from Los Angeles, where a relic of Saint Toribio has drawn thousands to local churches.
Video

Video Ukraine Rebels Surrender MH17 Black Boxes

After days of negotiations, a senior separatist leader handed over two black boxes from an airliner downed over eastern Ukraine to Malaysian experts early Tuesday. While on Monday, the U.N. Security Council unanimously demanded that armed groups controlling the crash site allow safe and unrestricted access to the wreckage.
Video

Video In Cambodia, HIV Diagnosis Brings Deadly Shame

Although HIV/AIDS is now a treatable condition, a positive diagnosis is still a life altering experience. In Cambodia, people living with HIV are often disowned by friends, family and the community. This humiliation can be unbearable. We bring you one Cambodian woman’s struggle to overcome a life tragedy and her own HIV positive diagnosis.
Video

Video Nature of Space Exploration Enters New Age

Forty-five years ago this month, the first humans walked on the moon. It was during an era of the space race between the United States and the Soviet Union. World politics have changed since then and -- as Elizabeth Lee reports -- so has the nature of space exploration.
Video

Video Chicago’s Argonne Lab Developing Battery of the Future

In 2012, the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Science awarded a $120 million grant to a new technology center focused on battery development - headquartered at Argonne National Laboratory in suburban Chicago, Illinois. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, there scientists are making the next technological breakthroughs in energy storage.
Video

Video In NW Pakistan, Army Offensive Causes Massive Number of Displaced

Pakistan’s army offensive in North Waziristan has resulted in the large-scale displacement of the local population. VOA's Ayaz Gul reports from northwest Pakistan where authorities say around 80 percent of the estimated 1 million internally displaced persons [IDPs] have settled in Bannu district, while much of the remaining 20 percent are scattered in nearby cities.
Video

Video Kurdish Peshmerga Force Secures Kirkuk, Its Oil

The Kurdistan regional government has sent its Peshmerga troops into the adjacent province of Kirkuk to drive out insurgents, and to secure the area's rich oil fields. By doing this, the regional government has added a fourth province to the three it officially controls. The oil also provides revenue that could make an independent Kurdistan economically strong. VOA’s Jeffrey Young went out with the Peshmerga and filed this report.
Video

Video Malaysia Reeling: Second Air Disaster in Four Months

Malaysia is reeling from the second air disaster in four months involving the country’s flag carrier. Flight 340 vanished in March and despite an extensive search, no debris has been found. And on Thursday, Flight 17, likely hit by a surface-to-air missile, came apart over eastern Ukraine. The two incidents together have left more than 500 people dead. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Kuala Lumpur.

AppleAndroid