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

On Everest, Helicopters Rescue Stranded Climbers

Choppers transport some of more than 100 mountaineers trapped after deadly quake, avalanches More

Video Ten Years After Riots, France Searches for Answers to Neglected Suburbs

In 2005, a Paris suburb exploded into violence after two teenagers were electrocuted as they hid from police; since then, somethings have changed, others not More

US, Japan Announce Historic Revision of Defense Cooperation Guidelines

Nations say new guidelines will be 'cornerstone for peace and security' in Asia-Pacific region while also serving as 'platform for a more stable international security environment' 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.
‘Angel of the Migrants’ Helps Desperate Syrians Arriving in Europei
X
Henry Ridgwell
April 26, 2015 10:36 PM
Waves of migrants are continuing to arrive on the shores of southern Italy from North Africa. After their dangerous journey across the Mediterranean, they face an unknown future in Europe. In the Sicilian city of Catania there is an activist dedicated to helping the refugees on their journey.
Video

Video ‘Angel of the Migrants’ Helps Desperate Syrians Arriving in Europe

Waves of migrants are continuing to arrive on the shores of southern Italy from North Africa. After their dangerous journey across the Mediterranean, they face an unknown future in Europe. In the Sicilian city of Catania there is an activist dedicated to helping the refugees on their journey.
Video

Video Ten Years After Riots, France Searches for Answers to Neglected Suburbs

January’s terrorist attacks and fears of more to come are casting a spotlight on France’s neglected suburbs. Home to many immigrants, and sometimes hubs of crime, they were rocked by rioting a decade ago. Lisa Bryant visited the Paris suburb of Clichy-sous-Bois, where the 2005 violence first broke out, and has this report about what has changed and what has not.
Video

Video Gay Marriage Goes Before US Supreme Court

This week, the U.S. Supreme Court will hear arguments on whether gay people have a constitutional right to marriage. VOA’s Michael Bowman reports, the case could lead to the nationwide legalization of same-sex marriage, or a continuation of the status quo in which individual states decide whether to recognize gay unions.
Video

Video Study: Insecticide Damaging Wild Bee Populations

A popular but controversial type of insecticide is damaging important wild bee populations, according to a new study. VOA’s Steve Baragona has more.
Video

Video Data Servers Could Heat Private Homes

As every computer owner knows, when their machines run a complex program they get pretty hot. In fact, cooling the processors can be expensive, especially when you're dealing with huge banks of computer servers. But what if that energy could heat private homes? VOA’s George Putic reports that a Dutch energy firm aims to do just that.
Video

Video Cinema That Crosses Borders Showcased at Tribeca Film Festival

Among the nearly 100 feature length films being shown at this year’s Tribeca Film Festival in New York City are more than 20 documentaries and features with international appeal, from a film about a Congolese businessman in China, to documentaries shot in Pakistan and diaspora communities in the U.S., to a poetic look at disaffected South African youth. VOA’s Carolyn Weaver has more.
Video

Video UN Confronts Threat of Young Radicals

The radicalization and recruitment of young people into Islamist extremist groups has become a growing challenge for governments worldwide. On Thursday, the U.N. Security Council heard from experts on the issue, which has become a potent threat to international peace and security. VOA’s Margaret Besheer reports.
Video

Video Growing Numbers of Turks Discover Armenian Ancestry

In a climate of improved tolerance, growing numbers of people in Turkey are discovering their grandmothers were Armenian. Hundreds of thousands of Armenians escaped the mass deportations and slaughter of the early 1900's by forced conversion to Islam. Or, Armenian children were taken in by Turkish families and assimilated. Now their stories are increasingly being heard. Dorian Jones reports from Istanbul that the revelations are viewed as an important step.
Video

Video Migrants Trek Through Western Balkans to Reach EU

Migrants from Africa and other places are finding different routes into the European Union in search of a better life. The Associated Press followed one clandestine group to document their trek through the western Balkans to Hungary. Zlatica Hoke reports that the migrants started using that route about four years ago. Since then, it has become the second-most popular path into Western Europe, after the option of sailing from North Africa to Italy.
Video

Video US Businesses See Cuba as New Frontier

The Obama administration's opening toward Cuba is giving U.S. companies hope they'll be able to do business in Cuba despite the continuation of the U.S. economic embargo against the communist nation. Some American companies have been able to export some products to Cuba, but the recent lifting of Cuba's terrorism designation could relax other restrictions. As VOA's Daniela Schrier reports, corporate heavy hitters are lining up to head across the Florida Straits - though experts urge caution.
Video

Video Kenya Launches Police Recruitment Drive After Terror Attacks

Kenya launched a major police recruitment drive this week as part of a large-scale effort to boost security following a recent spate of terror attacks. VOA’s Gabe Joselow reports that allegations of corruption in the process are raising old concerns about the integrity of Kenya’s security forces.
Video

Video Japan, China in Race for Asia High-Speed Rail Projects

A lucrative competition is underway in Asia for billions of dollars in high-speed rail projects. Cambodia, India, Indonesia, Malaysia Thailand and Vietnam are among the countries planning to move onto the fast track. They are negotiating with Japan and the upstart Chinese who are locked in a duel to revolutionize transportation across Asia. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman in Bangkok has details.
Video

Video Scientists: Mosquitoes Attracted By Our Genes

Some people always seem to get bitten by mosquitoes more than others. Now, scientists have proved that is really the case - and they say it’s all because of genes. It’s hoped the research might lead to new preventative treatments for diseases like malaria, as Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Bible Museum Coming to Washington DC

Washington is the center of American political power and also home to some of the nation’s most visited museums. A new one that will showcase the Bible has skeptics questioning the motives of its conservative Christian funders. VOA religion correspondent Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Afghan First Lady Pledges No Roll Back on Women's Rights

Afghan First Lady Rula Ghani, named one of Time's 100 Most Influential, says women should take part in talks with Taliban. VOA's Rokhsar Azamee has more from Kabul.

VOA Blogs