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

Obama: Alaskans Feel Signs of Climate Change

They're seeing bigger storm surges as sea ice melts, more wildfires, erosion of glaciers, shorelines More

Katrina Brought Enduring Changes to New Orleans

The city’s recovery is the result of the people and culture the city is famous for, as well as newcomers and start-up industries More

Magical Photo Slides Show Native Americans in Late 1800s

Walter McClintock spent 20 years photographing the Blackfoot Indians and their vanishing culture at the dawn of the modern age 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.
Colombians Flee Venezuela as Border Crisis Escalatesi
X
August 27, 2015 2:08 AM
Hundreds of Colombians have fled Venezuela since last week, amid an escalating border crisis between the two countries. Last week, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro ordered the closure of a key border crossing after smugglers injured three Venezuelan soldiers and a civilian. The president also ordered the deportation of Colombians who are in Venezuela illegally. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Colombians Flee Venezuela as Border Crisis Escalates

Hundreds of Colombians have fled Venezuela since last week, amid an escalating border crisis between the two countries. Last week, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro ordered the closure of a key border crossing after smugglers injured three Venezuelan soldiers and a civilian. The president also ordered the deportation of Colombians who are in Venezuela illegally. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Is China's Economic Data Accurate?

Some investors say China's wild stock market gyrations have been made worse by worries about the reliability of that nation's economic data. And some critics say the reports can mislead investors by painting an unrealistically-strong picture of the economy. A key China scholar says Beijing is not fudging ((manipulating)) the numbers, but that the economy is evolving quickly from smoke-stack industries to services, and the ways of tracking new economic activity are falling behind the change. V
Video

Video Next to Iran, Climate at Forefront of Obama Agenda

President Barack Obama this week announced new initiatives aimed at making it easier for Americans to access renewable energy sources such as solar and wind. Obama is not slowing down when it comes to pushing through climate change measures, an issue he says is the greatest threat to the country’s national security. VOA correspondent Aru Pande has more from the White House.
Video

Video Shipping Containers Provide Experimental Housing

Housing prices around the San Francisco Bay area are out of reach for many people, so some young entrepreneurs, artists and tech industry workers are creating their own houses using converted shipping containers. But as VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports from Oakland, the effort requires ingenuity and dealing with restrictive local laws.
Video

Video Arctic Draws International Competition for Oil

A new geopolitical “Great Game” is underway in earth’s northernmost region, the Arctic, where Russia has claimed a large area for resource development and President Barack Obama recently approved Shell Oil Company’s test-drilling project in an area under U.S. control. Greg Flakus reports.
Video

Video Philippine Maritime Police: Chinese Fishermen a Threat to Country’s Security

China and the Philippines both claim maritime rights in the South China Sea.  That includes the right to fish in those waters. Jason Strother reports on how the Philippines is catching Chinese nationals it says are illegal poachers. He has the story from Palawan province.
Video

Video Technique May Eliminate Drill-and-Fill Dental Care

Many people dread visiting dentists because they're afraid of drills. Now, however, a technology developed by a British firm promises to eliminate the need for mechanical cleaning of dental cavities by speeding a natural process of tooth repair. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video China's Spratly Island Building Said to Light Up the Night 'Like A City'

Southeast Asian countries claim China has illegally seized territory in the Spratly islands. It is especially a concern for a Philippine mayor who says Beijing is occupying parts of his municipality. Jason Strother reports from the capital of Palawan province, Puerto Princesa.
Video

Video Ages-old Ice Reveals Secrets of Climate Change

Ice caps don't just exist at the world's poles. There are also tropical ice caps, and the largest sits atop the Peruvian Andes - but it is melting, quickly, and may be gone within the next 20 years. George Putic reports scientists are now rushing to take samples to get at the valuable information about climate change locked in the ice.
Video

Video French Experiment in Integrating Roma Under Threat

Plans to destroy France’s oldest slum have sparked an outcry on the part of its Roma residents. As Lisa Bryant reports from the Paris suburb of La Courneuve, rights groups argue the community is a fledgling experiment on integrating Roma who are often outcasts in many parts of Europe.
Video

Video Kenyans Turn to Agriculture for Business

Each year Kenyan universities continue to churn out graduates for the job market despite the already existing high rate of unemployment among youth in the country. Some of these young men and women have realized that agriculture can be as rewarding as any other business or job, and they are resorting to agribusiness in large numbers as a way of tackling unemployment. Rael Ombuor reports for VOA.
Video

Video First Women Graduate Elite Army Ranger School

Two women are making history for the U.S. Army by proving they are among the toughest of the tough. VOA's Carla Babb reports from Fort Benning, Georgia as 94 men and those two women rise as graduates of the difficult Ranger school.

VOA Blogs