News / Middle East

US Envoy Says Gadhafi's Fall 'A Matter of Time'

The U.S. envoy to Libya’s opposition Transitional National Council says the TNC is gaining ground politically and on the battlefield, and that the downfall of Moammar Gadhafi is just a matter of time. Diplomat Chris Stevens says the TNC has pledged to improve its human rights performance after international criticism.

Stevens, in Washington for consultations after four months in the rebel stronghold of Benghazi, is dismissing reports of a stalemate in the Libyan conflict. He says the departure of Moammar Gadhafi is inevitable. “All I can say is the world is lined up against him, and his base is shrinking. The TNC forces are closing in around him. So are sanctions and other things. So I think everybody agrees it’s a matter of time," he said.

The veteran diplomat has become a defacto ambassador in Benghazi after Secretary of State Hillary Clinton announced last month that the United States has granted the TNC diplomatic recognition as the governing authority of Libya.

The Libyan rebel movement has since been rocked by the killing, under still-mysterious circumstances, of its military commander General Abdel Fatah Yunes, and complaints by human rights advocates that it has executed or mistreated captured Gadhafi loyalist soldiers.

Stevens, who said he discussed the alleged abuses Tuesday with Human Rights Watch, said the TNC’s military is still a loose coalition of sometimes-quarreling militia groups. But he said the TNC leadership is committed to bringing its forces under full centralized control. “They really need to be careful about maintaining their unity and keep the focus on Gadhafi’s ouster. And they understand that message very well, and they have told us that they are going work hard to bring the militias under the control of the security ministry which they have set up, and under the army as well, and hopefully that will work," he said.

Sarah Leah Whitson, Middle East and North Africa director at Human Rights Watch, says there have been some “egregious” cases of prisoner mistreatment by TNC forces that have been raised with leaders of the rebel movement. “One thing I can say for the TNC is that they have been very responsive to the concerns we’ve raised. They have committed to investigating, they have committed to doing a better job of supervising their forces, to training their forces, and to establishing better detention procedures, due process procedures, for captured Libyan forces," she said.

Whitson said a Human Rights Watch team has been given permission by the Gadhafi government to visit Tripoli to investigate what have clearly been severe rights abuses by pro-Gadhafi forces. “We have seen indiscriminate attacks on civilians, the use of landlines in civilian areas, prohibited landlines in and around civilian areas, the arbitrary arrests and detention or rebels including some who were taken from hospitals, and little respect for the laws of war which, of course, the Libyan government forces should be much better equipped and well-prepared to understand and respect and abide by," she said.

Whitson said the Gadhafi government’s use of landmines is particularly “shocking and disappointing,” because that country has suffered for decades from the legacy of mines left over from the Italian colonial era and the World War II North Africa campaign.

You May Like

US Imposes Sanctions on Alleged Honduran Drug Gang

Treasury department alleges Los Valles group is responsible for smuggling tens of thousands of kilograms of cocaine into US each month More

At 91, Marvel Creator Stan Lee Continues to Expand his Universe

Company's chief emeritus hopes to interest new generation of children in superheroes of all shapes and sizes by publishing content across multiple media platforms More

Photogallery New Drug Protects Against Virus in Ebola Family

Study by researchers at University of Texas Medical Branch, Tekmira Pharmaceuticals is first looking at drug's effectiveness after onset of symptoms 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.
African Media Tries to Educate Public About Ebolai
X
George Putic
August 20, 2014 8:57 PM
While the Ebola epidemic continues to claim lives in West Africa, information technology specialists, together with radio and TV reporters, are battling misinformation and prejudice about the disease - using social media to educate the public about the deadly virus. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video African Media Tries to Educate Public About Ebola

While the Ebola epidemic continues to claim lives in West Africa, information technology specialists, together with radio and TV reporters, are battling misinformation and prejudice about the disease - using social media to educate the public about the deadly virus. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Ferguson Calls For Justice as Anger, Violence Grips Community

Violence, anger and frustration continue to grip the small St. Louis suburb of Ferguson, Missouri. Protests broke out after a white police officer fatally shot an unarmed black teenager on August 9. The case has sparked outrage around the nation and prompted the White House to send U.S. Attorney Eric Holder to the small community of just over 20,000 people. VOA’s Mary Alice Salinas has more from Ferguson.
Video

Video Beheading Of US Journalist Breeds Outrage

U.S. and British authorities have launched an investigation into an Islamic State video showing the beheading of kidnapped American journalist James Foley by a militant with a British accent. The extremist group, which posted the video on the Internet Tuesday, said the murder was revenge for U.S. airstrikes on militant positions in Iraq - and has threatened to execute another American journalist it is holding. Henry Ridgwell has more from London.
Video

Video Family Robots - The Next Big Thing?

Robots that can help us with daily chores like cooking and cleaning are a long way off, but automatons that serve as family companions may be much closer. Researchers in the United States, France, Japan and other countries are racing to build robots that can entertain and perform some simpler tasks for us. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video In Ukraine, Fear and Distrust Remain Where Fighting has Stopped

As the Ukrainian military reclaims control of eastern cities from pro-Russian separatists, residents are getting a chance to rebuild their lives. VOA's Gabe Joselow reports from the town of Kramatorsk in Donetsk province, where a sense of fear is still in the air, and distrust of the government in Kyiv still runs deep.
Video

Video Five Patients Given Experimental Ebola Drug Said to Be Improving

The World Health Organization has approved the use of experimental treatments for Ebola patients in West Africa. The Ebola outbreak there is unprecedented, the disease deadly. The number of people who have died from Ebola has surpassed 1,200. VOA's Carol Pearson reports on the ethical considerations of allowing experimental drugs to be used.
Video

Video China Targets Overseas Assets of Corrupt Officials

As China presses forward with its anti-graft effort, authorities are targeting corrupt officials who have sent family members and assets overseas. The efforts have stirred up a debate at home on exactly how many officials take that route and how likely it is they will be caught. Rebecca Valli has this report.
Video

Video Leading The Fight Against Islamic State, Kurds Question Iraqi Future

Western countries including the United States have begun arming the Kurdish Peshmerga forces in northern Iraq to aid their battle against extremist Sunni militants from the Islamic State. But there are concerns that a heavily-armed Kurdistan Regional Government, or KRG, might seek to declare independence and cause the break-up of the Iraqi state. As Henry Ridgwell reports from London, the KRG says it will only seek greater autonomy from Baghdad.
Video

Video In Rural Kenya, Pressure Builds Against Female Circumcision

In some Kenyan communities, female genital mutilation remains a rite of passage. But activists are pushing back, with education for girls and with threats of punishment those who perform the circumcision. Mohammed Yusuf looks at the practice in the rural eastern community of Tharaka-Nithi.

AppleAndroid