News / Africa

US Calls on Gadhafi to Officially Give Up Power

The United States Tuesday, saying the Libyan regime has "nearly collapsed," has called on Muammar Gadhafi to make an "affirmative statement" that he understands his rule is over. The U.S. is pushing for an early release of $1.5 billion in frozen Libyan assets to assist the Transitional National Council in consolidating control.

Officials here say that while gunfire in Tripoli continues and the situation remains somewhat fluid, it is clear that a transition is underway, and the best thing Muammar Gadhafi can do is to surface and formally announce he is stepping aside.

Briefing reporters, State Department Spokesperson Victoria Nuland said the Gadhafi regime has “nearly collapsed” and that the United States stands with the people of Libya and the Transitional National Council, the TNC, “at this historic time.”

She said Muammar Gadhafi owes the Libyan people and the world community a clear statement that his four-decades of control of the North African country has come to an end.

“What the Libyan people are looking for, and what the international community is looking for, is a reliable, affirmative statement -- not only to the Libyan people and the international community but with his own loyalists - that he understands this is over,  that he understands that the days of his leadership are over, so that everybody can move on,” she said.

Nuland said the United States is working urgently with the United Nations Sanctions Committee for the early release of as much as $1.5 billion dollars in frozen Libyan assets to help the TNC meet immediate security and humanitarian needs.

The United States alone has impounded some $37 billion in Libyan assets in line with U.N. sanctions resolutions against the Gadhafi government. Nuland said the U.S. preference is to have any release of funds to the TNC authorized by the sanctions committee.

But saying a speedy consensus on the U.N. panel may be hard to obtain, she said the United States would “find ways” to release funds to the Libyan interim administration unilaterally.

Some members of Congress and others have advised a cautious approach in releasing funds to the TNC on grounds the Libyan opposition may include Islamic radicals. But Nuland said U.S. diplomats are in “hourly” contact with the TNC leadership and are confident about their commitment to an inclusive democracy.

“We are heartened and encouraged by the fact that the TNC, in all its public pronouncements, in all of its private commitments to us and other members of the international community, has said that it wants to govern in a transparent, democratic way, that it is prepared to meet all of its international human rights commitments and that it does not want a state led by extremists,” Nuland said.

Nuland said it is “premature” to talk about the possible need for a international peacekeeping force in Libya until the TNC has had a chance to evaluate its own needs and makes them know to the United Nations.

She said the calm that has prevailed in TNC-controlled areas, and the absence of revenge attacks on perceived Gadhafi supporters, is encouraging.

Libya’s post-conflict needs will be the main focus of a meeting in Istanbul Thursday of the international “contact group” on Libya that includes the United States, Turkey, and key European and Gulf States.

Deputy Secretary of State William Burns will lead the U.S. delegation there.

You May Like

Photogallery Early Nigeria Results Show Buhari Leading; Tampering Concerns Mount

One local group monitoring polls is concerned politicians might use security agencies to 'fiddle with the election collation process' at state level More

UN: 7,300 Civilians Killed in Boko Haram Insurgency

A senior UN humanitarian official tells the United Nations Security Council 1,000 people have been killed this year More

Turkish President Warns Iran About Trying to Dominate Middle East

Warning comes amid growing concerns inside Turkey that it will be sucked into a sectarian conflict with its neighbor 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.
Film Tells Story of Musicians in Mali Threatened by Jihadistsi
X
Greg Flakus
March 30, 2015 6:48 PM
At this year's annual South by Southwest film and music festival in Austin, Texas, some musicians from Mali were on hand to promote a film about how their lives were upturned by jihadists who destroyed ancient treasures in the city of Timbuktu and prohibited anyone from playing music under threat of death. As VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Austin, some are afraid to return to their hometowns even though the jihadists are no longer in control there.
Video

Video Film Tells Story of Musicians in Mali Threatened by Jihadists

At this year's annual South by Southwest film and music festival in Austin, Texas, some musicians from Mali were on hand to promote a film about how their lives were upturned by jihadists who destroyed ancient treasures in the city of Timbuktu and prohibited anyone from playing music under threat of death. As VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Austin, some are afraid to return to their hometowns even though the jihadists are no longer in control there.
Video

Video With Coalition Airstrikes, Iraq Entering 'Last Page' of IS Battle

American warplanes joined Iraq's battle against the so-called 'Islamic State' in northern Iraq late Wednesday, as Iraqi ground troops launched a massive assault on Tikrit. Analysts say the offensive could take the coalition a step further towards Mosul, the largest city held by Islamic State forces. Others say it could also deepen already-dangerous sectarian tensions in the region. VOA's Heather Murdock has more from Cairo.
Video

Video Philippines Wants Tourists Spending Money at New Casinos

Tourism is a multi-billion dollar industry in the Philippines. Close to five million foreign visitors traveled there last year, perhaps lured by the country’s tropical beaches. But Jason Strother reports from Manila that the country hopes to entice more travelers to stay indoors and spend money inside new casinos.
Video

Video Civilian Casualties Push Men to Join Rebels in Ukraine

The continued fighting in eastern Ukraine and the shelling of civilian neighborhoods seem to be pushing more men to join the separatist fighters. Many of the new recruits are residents of Ukraine made bitter by new grievances, as well as old. VOA's Patrick Wells reports.
Video

Video Islamic State Prisoners Talk of Curiosity, God, Regret

Islamic State fighter, a prisoner of Kurdish YPG forces, asked his family asking for forgiveness: "I destroyed myself and I destroyed them along with me." The Syrian youth was one of two detainees who spoke to VOA’s Kurdish Service about the path they chose; their names have been changed and identifying details obscured. VOA's Zana Omer reports.
Video

Video Germanwings Findings Raise Issue of Psychological Testing for Pilots

More is being discovered about the co-pilot in the crash of Germanwings Flight 9525 in the French Alps. Investigators say he was hiding a medical condition, raising questions about the mental qualifications of pilots. VOA's Carolyn Presutti reports.
Video

Video Hi-tech Motorbike Helmet's Goal: Improve Road Safety

In cities with heavily congested traffic, people can get around much faster on a motorcycle than in a car. But a rider who is not sure of his route may have to stop to look at the map or consult a GPS. A Russian start-up company is working to make navigation easier for motorcyclists. Designers at Moscow-based LiveMap are developing a smart helmet with a built-in navigation system, head-mounted display and voice recognition. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video DOJ: Illinois National Guard Soldier Tried to Join ISIS

U.S. federal law enforcement agents arrested two suburban Chicago men accused of trying to join ISIS overseas, while also plotting attacks in the United States. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports from the Midwest state of Illinois, one of those arrested is a soldier of the Illinois National Guard.
Video

Video New Wheelchair Is Easier to Use, Increases Mobility

Traditional push-rim wheelchairs create a lot of stress for arm, shoulder and neck muscles and joints. A redesigned chair, based on readily available bicycle technology, radically increases mobility while reducing the physical effort. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Liberia's Almost Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grieving

Beatrice Yardolo was to make history as Liberia’s last Ebola patient. Liberians recently started counting down 42 days, the period that has to go by without a single new infection until the World Health Organization can declare a country Ebola-free. That countdown stopped on March 20 when there was another new case of Ebola, making Yardolo’s story a reminder that Ebola is far from over. Benno Muchler reports from Monrovia.
Video

Video Cambodian Land Grabs Threaten Traditional Communities

Indigenous communities in Cambodia's Ratanakiri province say the government’s economic land concession policy is taking away their land and traditional way of life, making many fear that their identity will soon be lost. Local authorities, though, have denied this is the case. VOA's Say Mony went to investigate and filed this report, narrated by Colin Lovett.
Video

Video Space Program Status Disappoints 'Last Man on the Moon'

One of the films that drew big crowds last week at the annual South by Southwest festival in Austin, Texas, tells the story of the last human being to stand on the moon, U.S. astronaut Eugene Cernan. It has been 42 years since Cernan returned from the moon and he laments that no one else has gone there since. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports.

VOA Blogs

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