News / Africa

At UN, Nations Pledge Support to Libya's Transitional Leaders

Libya's National Transitional Council (NTC) Chairman Mustafa Abdel Jalil salutes upon his arrival at the Libya Contact Group meeting at the United Nations in New York, September 20, 2011.
Libya's National Transitional Council (NTC) Chairman Mustafa Abdel Jalil salutes upon his arrival at the Libya Contact Group meeting at the United Nations in New York, September 20, 2011.

President Barack Obama Tuesday pledged U.S. support for the new Libyan government and appealed to Moammar Gadhafi loyalists still fighting the transitional administration to lay down their arms and “join the new Libya.”  At the United Nations meeting on Libya's future, interim Libyan leader Mustafa Abdel Jalil called for reconciliation in rebuilding the country.

The 60-nation high-level “Friends of Libya” meeting amounted to a victory celebration for the interim government which won official recognition from the U.N. General Assembly less than a week ago.

But the joy was tempered somewhat by continued statements of defiance from ousted leader Moammar Gadhafi and his supporters, who still control a swath of Libyan territory. The New York event included calls from President Obama and others for the holdouts to give up the fight.

Mr. Obama said the United States will stand by Libya’s National Transitional Council, the NTC, as it hopes to build a democratic state and said the NATO-led air mission will continue as long as the Libyan people are threatened. He said Mr. Gadhafi's loyalists should accept defeat.

“Those still holding out must understand: the old regime is over, and it is time to lay down your arms and join the new Libya. As this happens, the world must also support efforts to secure dangerous weapons - conventional and otherwise - and bring fighters under central, civilian control.  For without security, democracy, trade and investment cannot flourish,” Mr. Obama said.

Mr. Obama said U.S. Ambassador to Libya Gene Cretz, who left the country late last year amid worsening ties with Mr. Gadhafi's government, is returning to Tripoli and that the American flag will be raised again at the war-damaged U.S. embassy in the capital.

Before the meeting, a Syrian television outlet released an audio tape in which Mr. Gadhafi, still at large, pledged to fight on.

British Foreign Secretary William Hague said "time is up" for Mr. Gadhafi and his remaining supporters and warned nations against giving him refuge. “As for Gadhafi himself, he must be brought to justice under Libyan and international law. No country should consider giving a bolt-hole to this fugitive from justice, a man wanted on charges of crimes against humanity. And any country that does consider giving him sanctuary should remember there is no expiry date for the charges he faces,” Hague said.

NTC leader Jalil expressed gratitude to the United States, NATO, the Arab League and others who came to the aid of the Libyan uprising.

He said the NTC intends to govern in a spirit of reconciliation. “The Libyan authorities will bring to justice all accused of the Gadhafi regime before a just trial. And we will work for the spirit of forgiveness and reconciliation over the coming period. We have already established committees for that purpose that have traveled to different parts of Libya to start a process of reconciliation that will include all the elements of the Libyan people after total liberation is realized,” Jalil said.

Jalil said migrant workers and foreigners living in Libya will be treated in accordance with international humanitarian law, though the NTC intends to “put an end” to inflows of illegal workers.

Human rights groups have complained that sub-Saharan Africans and dark-skinned Libyans have been subjected to abuse as suspected mercenaries for Mr. Gadhafi's government.

U.S. officials said human rights was among issues covered in a bilateral meeting between President Obama and Jalil in advance of the Friends of Libya meeting Tuesday.

You May Like

Photogallery South Africa Bans Travelers From Ebola-stricken Countries

South Africans returning from affected West African countries will be thoroughly screened, required to fill out medical questionnaire, health minister says More

Multimedia UN Launches ‘Biggest Aid Operation in 30 Years’ in Iraq

Move aims to help thousands of Iraqi religious minorities who fled their homes as Kurdish, Iraqi government forces battle Sunni insurgents More

Video African Media Tries to Educate Public About Ebola

IT specialists, together with radio and TV reporters, are battling misinformation and prejudice about disease 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.
Gaza Conflict, Hamas Popularity Challenge Abbasi
X
Scott Stearns
August 21, 2014 9:20 PM
The Palestinian unity government of Mahmoud Abbas has failed to convince Hamas to agree to Egyptian-negotiated terms with Israel on a Gaza cease-fire. VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns reports on what the Gaza conflict means for President Abbas, with whom U.S. officials have worked for years on a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
Video

Video Gaza Conflict, Hamas Popularity Challenge Abbas

The Palestinian unity government of Mahmoud Abbas has failed to convince Hamas to agree to Egyptian-negotiated terms with Israel on a Gaza cease-fire. VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns reports on what the Gaza conflict means for President Abbas, with whom U.S. officials have worked for years on a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
Video

Video Nigeria's 'Nollywood' Movie Industry Rolls in High Gear

Twenty years after its birth in a video shop in Lagos, Nigeria's "Nollywood" is one of the most prolific film industries on earth. Despite low budgets and whirlwind production schedules, Nigerian films are wildly popular in Africa and industry professionals say they hope, in the future, their films will be as great in quality as they are in quantity. Heather Murdock has more for VOA from Lagos.
Video

Video UN Launches 'Biggest Aid Operation in 30 Years' in Iraq

The United Nations has launched what it describes as one of the biggest aid operations in 30 years in northern Iraq, as hundreds of thousands of refugees flee the extremist Sunni militant group calling itself the Islamic State. As Kurdish and Iraqi forces battle the Sunni insurgents, the fighting has forced more people to flee their homes. Kurdish authorities say the international community must act now to avert a humanitarian catastrophe. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video Cambodian American Hip Hop Artist Sings of Personal Struggles

A growing underground movement of Cambodian American hip hop artists is rapping about the struggles of living in urban America. Most, if not all of them, are refugees or children of refugees who came to the United States from Cambodia to escape the Khmer Rouge genocide of the 1970s. Through their music, the artists hope to give voice to immigrants who have been struggling quietly for years. Elizabeth Lee reports from Long Beach, California.
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