LIBYA WAR: Latest Developments and World Reactions(UPDATE)
Laaska News August 22,2011
Russia to contribute to Libyan political process – Lavrov
Sergei Lavrov. Photo: AFP
Russia will actively contribute to the political process in Libya, says the Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov. He added that Moscow and Tripoli have had long-standing relations of friendship and cooperation.
Lavrov said that Russia opted for an early end to hostilities in the African country, and for setting up government agencies there on democratic principles. All signs are things are coming to a head, and the rebel forces will seize power soon, Lavrov said. He pointed out that this could have happened a while ago, but for a number of factors, including the moves by NATO, which has overstepped the authority of the UN Security Council mandate.
Gaddaffi finished – Obama
The situation in Libya “is still uncertain,” but “Gaddafi’s regime is coming to an end” announced U.S. President Barack Obama on Monday in a statement from Martha’s Vineyard in Massachusetts where he is spending holidays with his family.
The U.S. President said that “the rule of Gaddafi has already finished,” even though the battles in Libya are continuing.
At the same time he gave assurances that the U.S. “will be a friend and partner to the new Libya.”
“The Libyan opposition will make the transition to democracy, which should be peaceful, comprehensive and fair,” said the US leader
Lay down arms – Ban Ki-Moon -VOR
In a statement released on Monday UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon called on troops loyal to Muammar Gaddafi should lay down their weapons and prepare the ground for the transfer of power to the transitional government.
He called for a summit this week in Libya, with the participation of African Union member countries, the Arab League and other regional organizations.
According to him, the Libyans must now “concentrate on efforts towards national unity and reconciliation.”
According to media reports the rebels burst into Tripoli on Sunday evening and began to rapidly capture the city without meeting resistance.
Tripoli fall is new Libya dawn – Moscow
In a statement from its Foreign Ministry Monday, Russia says the regime change in Tripoli must open the way to cross-spectrum reconstruction talks that will lead to an independent, democratic, single and peaceful Libya.
It also says all world powers should learn a lesson from the Libyan conflict, namely, that all internecine strives must be addressed with restraint and in strict compliance with appropriate resolutions of the United Nations.
Libya opposition should not take revenge on Gaddafi followers
One of the leaders of the opposition National Council of Libya, Mahmoud Jibril, said in a televised address that the opposition supporters should not take revenge on the compatriots and foreigners who were loyal to Muammar Gaddafi.
According to earlier reports, armed rebels took control of almost the whole of the Libyan capital city Tripoli, save for the Bab-al-Azizia government quarter. Gaddafi’s youngest son, Saif al-Islam, has been arrested, while his eldest son, Mohammed, is under rebels’ control, – his house has been surrounded.
Early this morning, the opposition captured the government radio building, with bitter fighting resuming around the Gaddafi residence.
The President’s guards are said to have surrendered. Muammar Gaddafi says he is prepared to start direct talks with the Head of the Transitional National Council, Mustafa Abdul Jalil. But the latter demanded that Gaddafi should step down.
Libyan Embassy in Tokyo raises old national flag
The Libyan Embassy in Tokyo has replaced the solid-green flag designated by the government of Muammar al-Qadhafi as the national flag with an old tricolor flag used before Qadhafi took power.
The National Transitional Council of opposition forces uses the flag as its symbol.
An embassy official told NHK that the flag was replaced on Monday morning since the change of government has already taken place.
Libyan migrants storm Libyan embassy building in Athens
ATHENS, Aug. 22 (Xinhua) — A group of Libyan migrants stormed the Libyan embassy building in Athens Monday afternoon, as the opposition forces announced seizure of much of Tripoli, capital of the war-torn northern African country.
Chanting slogans against Muammar Gaddafi, some 25 protestors entered the embassy building and lowered Libya’s flag, replacing it with the flag of the National Transitional Council.
The ambassador was not present at the time and no violent incidents were reported, as the protestors destroyed dozens of copies of Gaddafi’s “Green Book.”
They continued a peaceful sit-in protest inside the embassy’s compound, demanding “justice and harsh punishment of Gaddafi and his clan.”
Sarkozy, Cameron to host contact group meeting on Libya next week in Paris
PARIS, Aug. 22 (Xinhua) — French President Nicolas Sarkozy and British Prime Minister David Cameron will jointly host the meeting of the contact group on Libya next week in Paris, said a statement issued Monday night by the Elysee Palace, confirming Foreign Minister Alain Juppe’s early remarks on local media.
Both leaders decided after a telephone talk “to initiate without delay a close cooperation with the legitimate Libyan authorities and their international partners for the organization of a summit of the enlarged contact group on Libya next week in Paris,” the statement said.
They both agreed to continue their support for Libya’s rebel authority — National Transition Council (NTC) as long as Muammar Gaddafi refused to lay down arms, the statement added.
Shortly before the statement was released, Juppe told local television channel TF1 more about the international contact group’s gathering in Paris which he proposed earlier in the day.
The contact group on Libya was formed at an international ministerial conference in London on March 29 and is composed of European powers, the United States, allies from the Middle East and a number of international organisations.
According to Juppe, Gaddafi’s regime “is now evidently finished” but “the victory is not complete,” so vigilance should be remained.
Sarkozy’s office announced around noon that a meeting with NTC leader Mahmoud Jibril in Paris is put on agenda.
The Elysee latest statement added that Sarkozy also had a talk in the night with UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon. They estimated that the United Nations, if the legitimate Libyan authorities wish, would have an important role to play to accompany the transition phase that will take place.
Libya rebels reportedly have taken the majority of Tripoli, Libyan capital and the stronghold of pro-Gaddafi troops. But neither the rebels or the NATO coalition force know where Gaddafi himself is hiding as fighting continues.
Oil rises over 2 pct on hopes of Fed’s stimulus policy
NEW YORK, Aug. 22 (Xinhua) — U.S. crude oil price rose over 2 percent on Monday as investors hoped that the Federal Reserve could on Friday step into monetary stimulus to boost U.S. economy.
Ben Bernanke, the Fed’s chairman, is scheduled to deliver a speech on Friday. Crude investors were expecting that the central bank will signal on new monetary stimulus steps to lift U.S. sluggish economy, which is facing increasing recession risk.
Besides the optimistic sentiment, the bargain-hunting after the steep fall last week also offered rising steam to crude prices.
But in Libya, the rebels have already taken control of the capital Tripoli and the Libya’s six-month civil war could be close to an end. The suspended oil supplies from the OPEC member state were hoped to be restored soon. More supplies expectation pushed the Brent Crude down.
The European continuing debt problems and banks financing difficulties still weighed on the markets. Analysts said that any negative news from Europe could trigger new round of sell-off.
Light, sweet crude for September delivery gained 1.86 dollars, or 2.26 percent to settle at 84.12 dollars a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. But in London, Brent crude for October delivery fell on expectation of Libya oil export resumption and last traded around 108 dollars a barrel.
Contact group on Libya to hold meeting in Turkey
ANKARA, Aug. 22 (Xinhua) — The contact group on Libya will convene a meeting in Turkey on political directors level this week, the semi-official Anatolia news agency reported on Monday.
The decision came following a series of phone conversations Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu had held Monday with several foreign ministers among member countries of the contact group on Libya, said the report.
Davutoglu will travel to Libya on Tuesday upon the latest developments in the country and is expected to hold talks with representatives of the Libyan rebel National Transitional Council.
Obama opposes sending troops to Libya
WASHINGTON, Aug. 22 (Xinhua) — U.S. President Barack Obama still opposes sending U.S. ground troops to Libya, Deputy White House Spokesman Josh Earnest said Monday.
Earnest said the president’s position on the matter “has not changed.” He made the statement at Martha’s Vineyard, Massachusetts, where Obama is spending summer vacation with his family. He also said White House possesses no evidence that shows Muammar Gaddafi has left Tripoli.
Earlier in the day, Defense Department spokesman Dave Lapan said United States does not plan to send ground forces into Libya to assist in any international peacekeeping operations if Gaddafi’ s rule ends. Lapan also said the Pentagon believes Gaddafi is still in Libya.
In a statement, Obama said it’s clear that the Gaddafi regime is coming to an end, but the situation in Libya remains fluid and uncertain.
Qaddafi’s sixth son Khamis may hide in Bab al-Aziziya: rebel
BENGHAZI, Aug. 22 (Xinhua) — Libyan rebels military spokesman Col. Ahmed Bani told Xinhua Monday that he believed Libyan leader Muammar Qaddafi’s sixth son Khamis Qaddafi is likely hiding in Bab al-Aziziya in the capital of Tripoli, refuting Khamis’ death reports.
Bani, meanwhile, said that he know nothing about whether Libyan rebels have captured a third Gaddafi son, Saadi.
Confirming that 95 percent of Tripoli had under the control of rebels, Bani added the rebel soldiers is now besieging Qaddafi’s long-time command center Bab al-Aziziya.
The rebels had cut off power supply in government controlled Surt, hometown of the Libyan leader, for several days, Bani said.
On the east front, Gaddafi troops are withdrawing from Brega, he added.
Italian PM, Libyan rebel leader to meet within days: report
ROME, Aug. 22 (Xinhua) — Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi would meet with Libyan rebel leader Mahmoud Jibril in a few days, local news agency Ansa reported on Monday.
According to the report, Berlusconi on Monday had a telephone conversation with Jibril, leader of the Libyan rebel-led National Transitional Council (NTC), exchanging opinions on Libya’s situation.
Berlusconi and Jibril agreed to have a meeting “in the next few days” in Italy for further communication, said the report.
During the phone call, Berlusconi praised the rapid advance of the NTC forces and reconfirmed Italy’s commitment to support the new Libyan authorities for the construction of a democratic and united country.
The prime minister also expressed appreciation for the determination of the NTC to avoid revenge and hoped that Libya may soon have a government that represents all parts of the country.
In the telephone conversation, Jibril warmly thanked Italy for its support to the NTC.
Earlier on Monday, Berlusconi urged Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi to stop all “unnecessary resistance” to save his people from further suffering.
Berlusconi enjoyed close ties with Gaddafi before the crisis in the North Africa country. Local media reported that Berlusconi was once opposed to participating in NATO air strikes against Gaddafi before he changed his mind in late April.
Protests against Gaddafi erupted in February this year and led to a civil war-like situation between rebel groups based in the eastern part of the country and forces loyal to Gaddafi based in the west.
Libyan rebel forces took control of most of Tripoli on Sunday night and were still clearing up the remnants of Gaddafi’s forces, while Gaddafi’s whereabouts remained unknown.
French Defense Minister says Gaddafi regime crashes
PARIS, Aug. 22 (Xinhua) — French Defense Minister Gerard Longuet said Monday that Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi’s regmine has fallen down.
Libyan embassy in Belarus raises rebel flag
MINSK, Aug. 22 (Xinhua) — The Libyan embassy in Belarus on Monday replaced the Libyan state flag with the flag used by the Libyan rebels.
The crescent and star emblazoned red-black-green flag that became a rallying symbol for the rebels in Libya was raised at the Libyan embassy in the Belarusian capital here.
Officials at the diplomatic mission declined to comment on the move.
The Libyan opposition said Monday that they were now in control of Libyan capital Tripoli, but fighting continued in the city.
According to the Libyan authorities in Tripoli, more than 1,300 people have been killed during the fighting in Tripoli.
Libyan Community takes over Libyan Embassy in Khartoum
KHARTOUM, Aug. 22 (Xinhua) — The Libyan Community in Sudan on Monday announced that it has taken over the Libyan Embassy in Khartoum.
“We have taken over the building of the Libyan Embassy in Khartoum, pulled down the old flag and raised the revolution flag, ” said a statement issued by the Libyan Community in Khartoum on Monday.
In the meantime, hundreds from the Libyan Community in Khartoum on Monday gathered in front of the Libyan Embassy in Khartoum and shouted slogans condemning the system of the Libyan Leader Muammar Gaddafi.
Eyewitnesses told Xinhua that they have watched the members of the Libyan Community in Khartoum tearing apart photos of the Libyan leader Gaddafi which were hanged in the offices of the Embassy and throwing them onto the street.
Sudanese government earlier Monday announced its support for the Libyan people and their revolutionary leadership to surpass the critical phase in the Libyan history.
Kuwait reiterates backing of Libyan opposition
KUWAIT CITY, Aug. 22 (Xinhua) — Kuwait reiterated Monday its support and backing of the Libyan National Transitional Council as opposition forces entered into the heart of Tripoli to search for the whereabouts of embattled leader Muammar Gaddafi.
The opposition council was the sole representative of the Libyan people, said a foreign ministry statement carried by the state KUNA news agency.
Kuwait also expressed hope that peace and stability could be restored in Libya, where more-than five months of NATO-covered opposition bids to topple the rule of Gaddafi entered into the final stage.
Libya’s Ambassador to Kuwait Mohammad Al-Mubarak on Monday joined the council as the opposition flag was hoisted in the embassy compound near Kuwait City.
Kuwait in April granted the Libyan opposition around 180 million U.S. dollars after the gulf country’s Amir met head of the council Mustafa Abdul Jalil.
South Africa sends planes to Libya to evacuate staff
JOHANNESBURG, Aug. 22 (Xinhua) — South Africa confirmed on Monday that a plane was on stand-by in Tunisia to rescue embassy staff and other fellow countrymen trapped in the conflict-riddled Libya, but not to aid Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi.
“The South African government would like to refute and dispel the rumors and claims that it has sent planes to Libya to fly Colonel Gaddafi and his family to an undisclosed location,” International Relations Minister Maite Nkoana-Mashabane said in a statement.
Media reports have quoted a Libyan rebel spokesperson as saying the rebels now control over 95 percent of the capital Tripoli, including the Libyan state radio building.
Gaddafi’s two sons have also been arrested, with his eldest son Mohammed Al-Gaddafi apparently surrendering to rebel forces.
But Gaddafi, who had remained defiant, earlier had made two audio addresses over state television, calling on Libyans to fight off the rebels. The unfolding situation in that country could bring an end to Gaddafi’s rule of more than 40 years.
The official Bua News Agency reported that South Africa would support the will of the people of Libya.
“With the imminent fall of the government of Colonel Gaddafi, we wish to urge the interim authority in Tripoli to immediately institute an all-inclusive inter-Libyan political dialogue aimed at building a truly representative and people-centered dispensation,” said the statement.
The statement also made it clear that Pretoria had no knowledge of Gaddafi’s whereabouts, with Nkoana-Mashabane saying officials in South Africa were also “sure that he will not be coming here.”
Bua News said the political and socio-economic transformation of Libya “held real prospects of ushering in a new era based on the will of people in which Libya should take its rightful place in the community of nations.”
“As Libya turns a new leaf in its history, the transitional government has the immediate responsibility of building national unity and reconciliation, restoring public order, reconstruction and reviving the economy,” it said.
South African President Jacob Zuma is a member of the African Union special mission to end the conflict in Libya and has visited that country twice.
Egypt recognizes NTC with Cabinet’s entrustment
CAIRO, Aug. 22 (Xinhua) — Foreign Minister Mohammed Kamel Amr announced Monday the Egyptian government’s recognition of the National Transitional Council (NTC) as an legitimate representative of Libya.
Amr made the remarks in a statement in a press conference with Mohamed Abdel-Menem al-Honi, the former Libyan ambassador to Egypt and the Arab League who is now the envoy of the NTC.
Amr said the Libyan embassy in Cairo will be handed over to the envoy of the NTC.
According to official news agency MENA, the Egyptian Cabinet entrusted on Monday Amr with officially announcing Egypt’s recognition of the NTC.
The cabinet also issued its directives to the foreign minister to continue contacts with the NTC to support the process of restoring stability and security in Libya, said Cabinet Spokesman Mohammed Hegazi.
Tunisian interim PM congratulates Libyan people on victory
TUNIS, August 22 (Xinhua) — Tunisia’s interim prime minister Beji Caid Essebsi congratulated Libya’s people for their “victory on the way to freedom and dignity,” the state-run press agency TAP reported on Monday.
During a telephone conversation with Mahmoud Jibril, the chairman of the National Transitional Council’s Executive Bureau, Essebsi stressed the strong ties between both countries, TAP said.
On his part, the rebel official voiced his gratefulness to the Tunisian people and government for their support to the Libyan people.
Libyan rebel leader says Gaddafi’s capture to score final victory
BENGHAZI, Libya, Aug. 22 (Xinhua) — The real victory of Libyan revolution lies in the capture of Gaddafi, said Mustafa Abdul Jalil, the head of Libya’s National Transitional Council (NTC), at a press conference on Monday.
Jalil said that Muammar Gaddafi’s era was over and he would be given a fair trial if he was captured alive.
Tripoli is under the rebels’ full control except for Bab al- Aziziya, which is known as Gaddafi’s longtime command center, said Jalil.
However, he said that Gaddafi’s whereabouts remained unknown.
Jalil noted that nationwide, Surt and Sabah are still under the control of Gaddafi forces. But he said he believed Gaddafi forces will rise up from within when the blockades in these places are broken.
Gaddafi’s elder son Mohammed and second son Saif al-Islam are both under custody of rebels in safe places, Jalil said.
Jalil said that new Libya will be a mild state and a responsible member of the international community, with Tripoli as the future capital.
Libyan people will be protected from political assassination, arrests and hanging, and the rebels will put down weapons as soon as peace is achieved, he stressed.
The rebel leader said that Gaddafi’s dream of dividing Libya was shattered and he would only be remembered for his acts against Libya and the world.
Jalil said that the new government will work to achieve safety, security, peace and prosperity for the people.
Libyan rebel forces took control of most of Tripoli on Sunday night and were still clearing up the remnants of Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi’s forces.
Residents in Tripoli flocked into the streets overnight to welcome the rebel forces, while thousands were celebrating the victory of the Libyan rebels in the opposition’s stronghold Benghazi.
Libya envoy in Arab League said no NATO base in Libya
CAIRO, Aug. 22 (Xinhua) — Libya envoy in Arab League said Monday that there would be no NATO base in Libya after Gaddafi’s ouster, Egypt’s official news agency MENA said.
Abd el-Menem el-Honi, Libyan National Transitional Council’s ( NTC) envoy in the Arab League (AL) and the representative of NTC in Egypt asserted that Libya won’t allow the existence of any NATO base as Libya is “an Arabic Islamic state before and after the NATO.”
“Libya is an integral and effective part of the Arabic world, so no foreign base would be on Libyan territories,” el-Honi said.
Meanwhile el-Honi appreciated NATO for its efforts supporting Libya oppositions, praising its role in “reducing the human casualties.”
El-Honi hoped the Arab foreign ministers would lift the suspension of Libya’s AL membership, and get Libya back to “the Arab house.”
Concerning the current hideout of Muammar Gaddafi, El-Honi said he was probably in the compound of Bab Al-Azizia in Tripoli.
He also urged the Libyan rebels not to go to Bab Azizia without well preparation, in order to avoid any other casualties.
UAE reiterates support for Libyan people
DUBAI, Aug. 22 (Xinhua) — The United Arab Emirates (UAE) will always help and support Libya and its people to achieve their hopes and aspirations, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan said Monday.
Sheikh Mohammed, who is also deputy supreme commander of the UAE armed forces, made the remarks during a phone conversation with Mustafa Abdel Jalil, chairman of the Libyan National Transitional Council, the official news agency WAM reported.
The crown prince congratulated Jalil on the victory the council has achieved and praised the wisdom shown by him “when dealing with various developments in the Libyan front,” the report said.
“Sheikh Mohammed also expressed his wish that the National Transitional Council will achieve all the aspirations of the Libyan people for stability and progress in various fields,” WAM said.
Libyan rebels were reportedly moving into the center of Tripoli in their latest military gain early Monday, while Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi’s whereabouts remained a mystery.
Pentagon says no boots on Libyan ground, surveillance to continue
WASHINGTON, Aug. 22 (Xinhua) — The U.S. Defense Department on Monday said the Pentagon has no plans to send ground troops to Libya, but the surveillance mission over Libya conducted by the U. S. side as part of NATO campaign is likely to continue.
Pentagon spokesman Dave Lapan said United States does not plan to send ground forces into Libya to assist in any international peacekeeping operations if Muammar Gaddhafi’s rule ends.
Lapan also said the Pentagon believes Gaddhafi is still in Libya.
Libyan embassy in Damascus announces full support to NTC
DAMASCUS, Aug. 21 (Xinhua) — The Libyan embassy in Damascus announced Monday its “absolute support” to the February 17 revolution, and it’s joining of the National Transitional Council.
In a statement obtained by Xinhua, the embassy said “we pledge that the Libyan embassy in Damascus will continue to serve Libya’s sons without exception and looks after their interests truthfully and sincerely.”
Arab League (AL) Secretary General Nabil el-Arabi expressed his wishes on Monday that the Libyan NTC could succeed in leading the coming period and keeping peace for the Libyan people.
Several Arab and foreign countries have announced their recognition of the NTC on Monday, as opposition forces entered into the heart of Tripoli to search for the whereabouts of embattled leader Muammar Gaddafi.
Turkish FM calls on Libyan opposition to launch political process immediately
ANKARA, Aug. 22 (Xinhua) — Turkish foreign minister on Monday called on Libyan opposition to launch immediate political process to end the clashes.
“It is a success to end dual administrations in the country. New Libya should be democratic, free and united in line with Libyan people’s demands. Clashes should end immediately and a political process including all parties should be launched immediately,” Turkey’s Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu was quoted as saying by Anatolia news agency during his visit to Addis Ababa, capital city of Ethiopia.
The foreign minister said all Libyan officials located in Tripoli should be ready for a new Libya, adding “we hope Libya will be reconstructed in upcoming days led by the National Transitional Council along with efforts of international community. “
“What is happening in Libya is a lesson for the leaders of the region. It shows that leaders who do not listen to their people cannot stay in power,” he added.
Ankara called on Gaddafi to step down and has already recognized Libyan opposition in Benghazi in July as the legitimate representative of the Libyan people, but did not dismiss the Muammar Gaddafi’s administration in Tripoli.
Libyan opposition members gathered at Libyan Embassy in Ankara on Monday and pulled down Gaddafi administrator’s flag and raised the Libyan Transitional Transition Council’s flag.
Italian PM asks Gaddafi to stop resistance
ROME, Aug. 22 (Xinhua) — Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi on Monday urged Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi to stop all “unnecessary resistance” at once.
In a statement issued by the Italian government, Berlusconi asked Gaddafi to stop all unnecessary resistance to save his people from further suffering.
The Libyan National Transitional Council (NTC) and all the Libyan fighters involved in Tripoli are crowning their aspiration to a new democratic and unified Libya, said the statement, adding that the Italian government is on the side of the NTC.
Berlusconi also called on the NTC to refrain from vengeance, and to courageously face the transition to democracy in the spirit of openness to all components of the population.
Libyan rebels were reportedly moving into the center of Tripoli in their latest military gain early on Monday, while Gaddafi’s whereabouts remain a mystery.
EU urges Libyan opposition forces to respect law, not to revenge
BRUSSELS, Aug. 22 (Xinhua) — The European Union (EU) on Monday called on the Libyan opposition forces to abide by humanitarian and human right laws, especially not to revenge those who have been involved in the Gaddafi authorities.
“We urge both parties and in particular the opposition party who are now apparently taking over in Tripoli to abide by humanitarian law, abide by human rights law and that includes towards not only people from the opposition but also those who may be identified as having worked for the Gaddafi regime,” said Michael Mann, spokesman for EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton.
“We want them to continue to be a cohesive opposition and not to get involved in anything that would break humanitarian law,” Mann said in a press conference, “So we urge people to work together to build up a future for Libya, an open, democratic and a fair Libya.”
Asked whether the Libyan opposition forces and the National Transitional Council (NTC) would heed the call with regards to Muammar Gaddafi and his family, the spokesman said: “So far the NTC has had a very responsible attitude, it is being very cohesive, bringing all the opposition groups together. We just urge them to continue like that.”
He added that the EU hoped Gaddafi, his son Seif al-Islam and Libyan intelligence chief Abdullah al-Senussi, all charged with crimes against humanity by the International Criminal Court, would be delivered to The Hague “so that they can stand trial in the correct way.”
Rwandan gov’t says Libyan crisis still “complex”
KIGALI, Aug. 22 (Xinhua) — The government of Rwanda is still opposed to any form of mediation in the Libyan crisis when the North African country’s leader Muammar Gaddafi is likely to end his long-time rule, a senior official told Xinhua on Monday.
“Rwanda has already made clear its position that though the resolutions of the African Union aiming to put an end to the Libyan crisis contained relevant solutions likely to help Libya recover peace and stability, the situation remained ‘complex’,” said the official on condition of anonymity.
“Rwanda has always expressed its position that it was rather preoccupied with other commitments around the continent, especially with peacekeeping missions in several countries in Africa,” he said.
According to him, the Rwandan government’s position was that it has always expressed optimism about peaceful solutions to the Libyan crisis, declined to participate in the African Union High Level Panel on Libya.
On several occasions, the continental body has suggested a set of resolution to end the Libyan crisis which, despite efforts of many continental political actors, has not been successful in helping negotiate a peace agreement between the Libyan government and the opposition.
However, he did never say if the country is ready to acknowledge the National Transitional Council (NTC) as the legitimate representative of the Libyan people.
Arab League expresses supports to Libya NTC
CAIRO, Aug. 22 (Xinhua) — Arab League (AL) Secretary General Nabil el-Arabi expressed his wishes on Monday that the Libyan National Transitional Council (NTC) could succeed in leading the coming period and keeping the peace for the Libyan people.
Stressing the role of the AL in reinforcing the human rights and the Arab charters, Arabi expressed the AL support for the current efforts of the NTC.
In a statement issued by AL, Arabi called on all Libyan powers to provide security, stability and safety for the Libyan citizens and foreigners as well, in such period considered as “crucial juncture in the modern history of Libya”.
Meanwhile, AL Chief said that the Arab foreign ministers are going to tackle in the meeting of Arab Peace Initiative Committee Monday the matter of recognizing the NTC as the sole legitimate representative for the Libyan people.
AU to hold emergency meeting on Libya situation
ADDIS ABABA, Aug. 22 (Xinhua) — Officials of the African Union (AU) will hold an emergency meeting on Monday on the situation of Libya, where rebel forces have claimed control much of the capital Tripoli, sources of the pan-African bloc disclosed.
Rebels were reportedly moving into the center of Tripoli in their latest military gain early in the day, while Muammar Gaddafi’s whereabouts remain a mystery after his rule for 42 years.
The emergency peace and security council meeting was scheduled for 1330 GMT at the AU headquarters in Addis Ababa, the capital of Ethiopia.
Danish prime minister calls for free elections in Libya as rebels reach Tripoli
COPENHAGEN, Aug. 22 (Xinhua) — Denmark’s Prime Minister Lars Loekke Rasmussen has called for unity and free elections in Libya as rebels edged closer to overthrowing Colonel Muammar Gaddafi on Monday.
“It is crucial that the final phase is handled in a dignified manner and that the National Transitional Council is united to manage a transition towards the holding of free elections, including through cooperation with the International Criminal Court,” said Rasmussen.
“Denmark and the EU are ready to share in this responsibility,” he added in a statement.
Heavy fighting has been reported in Tripoli, the capital of Libya since Sunday, with rebel forces pouring into the city. Crowds of people are said to be cheering the arrival of the rebels and the imminent fall the Colonel Gaddafi.
“The celebrations we see at this moment in Libya, and not least on Tripoli’s streets, points in only one direction: the Libyan people’s fight for freedom has reached its last phase,” Rasmussen said.
Since mid-March, Denmark has participated in an NATO-led military operation to enforce a UN-mandated no-fly zone over Libya. It has subsequently recognised Libya’s Transitional National Council, a broad coalition of Libyan opposition forces, as the country’s legitimate authority.
Rasmussen hailed the efforts of ordinary Libyans who have fought against Gaddafi’s regime while acknowledging Denmark’s political and military engagement with Libya in recent months.
Protests against Gaddafi erupted in February this year and led to a civil war-like situation between rebel groups based in the eastern part of the country and forces loyal to Gaddafi based in the west.