News / Middle East

US Evacuates Embassy in Libya Amid Unrest

The United States has temporarily closed its embassy in Libya and evacuated the staff to neighboring Tunisia because of heavy fighting near the embassy site in Tripoli.

The State Department says it has suspended embassy operations due to "ongoing violence between Libyan militias."

In a Saturday statement, officials also recommended that U.S. citizens in Libya depart immediately.

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said "freewheeling militia violence" is taking place in the capital. And although a lot of the violence in Tripoli is not targeting the embassy, he said, the "very real risk" to personnel prompted the decision to evacuate diplomatic staff overland to Tunisia, from where they will move on to other locations to continue efforts to ease the unrest.

"We are deeply committed and remain committed to the diplomatic process in Libya," Kerry told media in Paris on Saturday, where he is meeting with other diplomats on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. "Our envoy will continue to be engaged with the British envoy and other envoys. ... We call on all Libyans to engage in the political process and to come together in order to avoid the violence."

On Friday, the Turkish Foreign Ministry announced it had suspended operations at its embassy in Tripoli and moved more than 500 Turkish nationals to Tunisia.

Rival militias are battling for control in Tripoli at a time when a weak central government is riven by divisions between Islamist, tribal, and nationalist factions. Recent weeks have seen some of the country's deadliest fighting since former leader Moammar Gadhafi was ousted in 2011.

Nearly 50 people were killed during clashes between Islamist-led fighters from Misrata and Zintan rebels earlier this month as the groups fought for control of the airport.

The Libyan government and parliament have struggled in their efforts to control the militias.

The State Department says Libya's security situation remains "unpredictable and unstable," and that the government has not been able to "adequately build its military and police forces" following the 2011 revolution. Many "military-grade weapons" have remained in the hands of private individuals, officials say.

The security of U.S. personnel in Libya remains a sensitive issue, after four Americans, including Ambassador Chris Stevens, were killed in a 2012 attack on the U.S. mission in Benghazi.

The International Criminal Court is investigating the current violence.

You May Like

India PM Modi's Party Distances Itself From Religious Conversions

BJP under fire for being slow to rein in hardline affiliate groups allegedly trying to promote Hindu-dominant agenda by luring Muslims and Christians to convert More

Anti-Whaling Group Found in Contempt of Court

Radical environmentalists who threw acid and smoke bombs at Japanese whalers in the waters off Antarctica continue their campaign to disrupt Japan's annual whale hunt More

UN's Ban Urges End to Discrimination Against Ebola Workers

Ban was speaking in Guinea on the second day of a whistle-stop tour aimed at thanking healthcare workers of the countries at the heart of the epidemic More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Heidi from: Santa Cruz
July 26, 2014 10:21 PM
Those Republican clowns. Isn't there Something in the Constitution that can stop their TRAITORISTIC blockages of being able to keep our country functioning? THEY ARE TRAITORS! Their racism will bring us down in flames. They're worse then Al Qaeda . We invade a country on false pretenses, their idea and now they are trying to destroy us in our own country. Isn't being a traitor something punished by a firing squad?


by: Sunny Enwerem from: Lagos Nigeria
July 26, 2014 3:57 PM
What is going on with the US ?I guess with this administration when the going gets turf the US evacuates and run, I wonder what message is been sent to its allies than sand and fight with the impression the US will remain besides them when the going gets turf?this is a very wrong message Obama's administration is sending out to the world.


by: meanbill from: USA
July 26, 2014 11:48 AM
US President Barack Obama "quote" said it, on June 29, 2011, after taking part with (NATO) forces in bombing Libya back to the stone ages, and killing Qaddafi; .. "We've protected thousands of people in Libya; We have not seen a single American casualty; (There's no risk of additional escalation).. This operation is limited in time and scope."

Obama also "quote" said it; "What I am opposed to is a dumb war" .... (so now), Libya and the world, can thank Obama for his leadership, in leading the (smart) Libyan war and killing Qaddafi, that led to the violence, killings, destruction and the many militia wars, that continues on to this day? .... (YEA, thank Obama for it)..... it was a smart war? ..... REALLY?

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
US Decision on Cuba Underscores Divisions Among Miami Cubansi
X
Sharon Behn
December 19, 2014 9:34 PM
For decades, older, more conservative Cubans have been gathering at Café Versailles on the corner of Calle Ocho to eat Cuban food and talk politics. After hearing of President Barack Obama’s decision, a number of them gathered in front of the café with posters to protest. VOA's Sharon Behn reports on the situation.
Video

Video US Decision on Cuba Underscores Divisions Among Miami Cubans

For decades, older, more conservative Cubans have been gathering at Café Versailles on the corner of Calle Ocho to eat Cuban food and talk politics. After hearing of President Barack Obama’s decision, a number of them gathered in front of the café with posters to protest. VOA's Sharon Behn reports on the situation.
Video

Video Three Cities Bid for Future Obama Presidential Library

President Barack Obama still has two years left in his term in office, but the effort to establish his post-presidential library is already underway. The bid for the Obama Presidential Library is down to four locations in three states -- New York, Hawaii, and Illinois. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, each of them played an important part in the president’s life before he reached the White House.
Video

Video Cuba Deal is Major Victory for Pope’s Diplomatic Initiatives

Pope Francis played a key role in brokering the US-Cuba deal that was made public earlier this week. It is the most stunning success so far in a series of peacemaking efforts by the pontiff. VOA religion reporter Jerome Socolovsky has more.
Video

Video Fears of More Political Gridlock in 2015

2014 proved to be a difficult year politically for President Barack Obama and a very good year for the U.S. Republican Party. Republican gains in the November midterm elections gave them control of the Senate and House of Representatives for the next two years -- setting the stage for more confrontation and gridlock in the final two years of the Obama presidency. VOA National Correspondent Jim Malone has a preview from Washington.
Video

Video Sudan School Becomes Target of Aerial Attacks

The school dropout rate is at an all-time high in Sudan's South Kordofan state because many schools have been destroyed during the three-year civil war between the government and SPLA-N rebel forces. Adam Bailes visited Sudan's Nuba Mountains' region and reports many children are simply too scared to go to school
Video

Video VOA Reporter Tours Devastated Peshawar School

Islamist militants wearing military uniforms and strapped with explosives attacked a military run school Tuesday in the northwestern Pakistani city of Peshawar. At least 141 people were killed in the horrific attack, most of them young students. VOA reporter Ayaz Gul visited the devastated school and attended the funeral of the principal who courageously tried to save her students from the deadly attack.
Video

Video Nigerians Fleeing Boko Haram Languish in Camp Near Capital

In its five-year effort to impose Islamic law in northeastern Nigeria, the Boko Haram extremist group has killed thousands of people and forced hundreds of thousands to flee. Some of those who ran for their lives now live in squalor on the edges of the capital, Abuja. Chris Stein reports for VOA.
Video

Video Aceh Rebuilt Decade After Tsunami, But Scars Remain

On December 26, 2004 there was an earthquake in the Indian Ocean so powerful it caused the Earth’s axis to wobble a few centimeters. Onshore on the island of Sumatra, the resulting tsunami was devastating. A decade later, VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Banda Aceh, Indonesia, where although there is little remaining evidence of the physical devastation, the psychological scars among survivors remain.

All About America

AppleAndroid