News / Africa

Libyan Conflict Seen as Stalemate

With a nod to events in Ivory Coast, graffiti reflects Libyan rebel demands that leader Moammar Gadhafi leave, April 12, 2011
With a nod to events in Ivory Coast, graffiti reflects Libyan rebel demands that leader Moammar Gadhafi leave, April 12, 2011

Multimedia

Audio

Fresh fighting in Libya Tuesday follows the failure of an African diplomatic initiative to end hostilities between pro- and anti-government forces.

Both the Libyan government and rebel leaders outwardly express confidence their side will prevail.  But behind the scenes, concerns are rising that the eight week conflict may be at a stalemate.

Government forces continue to besiege the western rebel city of Misrata, and remain just outside Ajdabiya, a key eastern town that has changed hands numerous times.

Former Libyan Foreign Minister and Intelligence chief Moussa Koussa, who defected to Britain two weeks ago, warned in an interview with the BBC that the country risked falling into the chaos seen in Somalia.

But rebels dismiss the idea, questioning Koussa's motives, and that the conflict has any of the elements of civil war. Koussa, meanwhile, is heading to Qatar to attend an international conference on Libya's future, where he is likely to express his views.

"We don't have ethnic groups waging war against each other.  We don't have political parties waging war against each other.  There are two fronts.  There are the people of the country, the Libyan people, and Colonel Gadhafi and his regime and his kids,” Rebel media spokesman Mustafa Gheriani said.

Whatever their popular support, the rebels have been unable to make much headway on the battlefield.   Their farthest drive was under the aerial protection of a mission led by the U.S., France and Britain. Those gains have been reversed during the time NATO has been in charge of the campaign.

With the momentum bogging down, French Foreign Minister Alain Juppe called on NATO to do more.

Speaking on French radio, Juppe said NATO has to play its role in full, including preventing the Libyan leader from using heavy weaponry to bomb the population.

The call came one day after an African Union delegation failed to broker a peace deal, rejected by rebels for failing to include Colonel Gadhafi's ouster.

While possible diplomatic and military solutions to end the conflict remain unclear -- a Turkish initiative is currently under consideration -- one thing is certain: the humanitarian toll is high.

"Regrettably, the longer this goes on, the more the civilian population will be affected by the conflict, by the fighting and we are deeply troubled by what we're starting to see as more fundamental issues affecting daily life," Simon Brooks, head of the Red Cross mission in Benghazi added.

Brooks says the Red Cross has been able to deliver supplies this week to Misrata.   But he adds he sees signs that if the conflict were to continue for any length of time, it would be a major challenge for such groups as the Red Cross to respond.  

NEW: Follow our Middle East reports on Twitter
and discuss them on our Facebook page.

You May Like

Hostage Crisis Could Divide Japan Over Plans to Boost Military

Japanese Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga said Monday the government is working closely with the Jordanian government to secure the release of remaining Japanese hostage Kenji Goto More

Video Brussels Shaken as New Greek Leader Challenges Europe’s Austerity Drive

Country's youngest ever PM Alexis Tsipras, 40, sworn in Monday and says he will restore dignity to Greece by ending spending cuts More

Multimedia National Geographic Photo Camps Empower Youth

Annual mentoring program's mission is to give young people a voice to tell their own stories through photography 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.
Obama Urges Closer Economic Ties During Historic India Visiti
X
Aru Pande
January 26, 2015 9:33 PM
U.S. President Barack Obama says the United States and India must do better to capitalize on untapped potential in their economic relationship - by removing some of the roadblocks to greater trade and investment. As VOA correspondent Aru Pande reports from New Delhi, Obama spoke after participating in India’s Republic Day celebration.
Video

Video Obama Urges Closer Economic Ties During Historic India Visit

U.S. President Barack Obama says the United States and India must do better to capitalize on untapped potential in their economic relationship - by removing some of the roadblocks to greater trade and investment. As VOA correspondent Aru Pande reports from New Delhi, Obama spoke after participating in India’s Republic Day celebration.
Video

Video US, EU Threaten New Russia Sanctions Over Ukraine

U.S. President Barack Obama has blamed Russia for an attack by Ukrainian separatists that left dozens dead in the port of Mariupol and cast further doubt on the viability of last year’s cease-fire with the Kyiv government. VOA’s Michael Bowman reports from Washington.
Video

Video White House Grapples With Yemen Counterterrorism Strategy

Reports say the U.S. has carried out a drone strike on suspected militants in Yemen, the first after President Barack Obama offered reassurances the U.S. is continuing its counterterrorism operations in the country. The future of those operations has been in question following the collapse last week of Yemen’s government. VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.
Video

Video Kerry Warns Against Violence in Nigeria Election

US Secretary of State John Kerry visited Nigeria Sunday in a show of the level of concern within the U.S. and the international community over next month’s presidential election. Chris Stein reports.
Video

Video Zoo Animals Show Their Artistic Sides

The pursuit of happiness is so important, America's founding fathers put it in the Declaration of Independence. Any zookeeper will tell you animals need enrichment, just like humans do. So painting, and even music, are part of the Smithsonian National Zoo's program to keep the animals happy. VOA’s June Soh met some animal artists at the zoo in Washington. Faith Lapidus narrates.
Video

Video Worldwide Photo Workshops Empower Youth

Last September, 20 young adults from South Sudan took part in a National Geographic Photo Camp. They are among hundreds of students from around the world who have learned how to use a camera to tell the stories of the people in their communities through the powerful medium of photography. Three camp participants talked about their experiences recently on a visit to Washington. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
Video

Video Saudi, Yemen Developments Are Sudden Complications for Obama

The death of Saudi Arabia's King Abdullah and the collapse of Yemen’s government have cast further uncertainty on U.S. efforts to fight militants in the Middle East and also contain Iran’s influence in the region. VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports on the new complications facing the Obama administration and its Middle East policy.
Video

Video Progress, Some Areas of Disagreement in Cuba Talks

U.S. and Cuban officials are reporting progress from initial talks in Havana on re-establishing diplomatic ties. U.S. Assistant Secretary of State (for Western Hemisphere Affairs) Roberta Jacobson said while there was agreement on a broad range of issues, there also are some “profound disagreements” between Washington and Havana. VOA State Department correspondent Pam Dockins has the story.
Video

Video US, Japan Offer Lessons as Eurozone Launches Huge Stimulus

The Euro currency has fallen sharply after the European Central Bank announced a bigger-than-expected $67 billion-a-month quantitative easing program Thursday - commonly seen as a form of printing new money. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London on whether the move might rescue the eurozone economy -- and what lessons have been learned from similar programs around the world.
Video

Video Nigerian Elections Pose Concern of Potential Conflict in 'Middle Belt'

Nigeria’s north-central state of Kaduna has long been the site of fighting between Muslims and Christians as well as between people of different ethnic groups. As the February elections approach, community and religious leaders are making plans they hope will keep the streets calm after results are announced. Chris Stein reports from the state capital, Kaduna.
Video

Video As Viewership Drops, Obama Puts His Message on YouTube

Ratings reports show President Obama’s State of the Union address this week drew the lowest number of viewers for this annual speech in 15 years. White House officials anticipated this, and the president has decided to take a non-traditional approach to getting his message out. VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.
Video

Video S. Korean Businesses Want to End Trade Restrictions With North

Business leaders in South Korea are calling for President Park Geun-hye to ease trade restrictions with North Korea that were put in place in 2010 after the sinking of a South Korean warship.Pro-business groups argue that expanding trade and investment is not only good for business, it is also good for long-term regional peace and security. VOA’s Brian Padden reports.

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More

All About America

AppleAndroid