In Libya, fighting between Gaddafi’s forces and rebels has broken out in the eastern oil export port of Ras Lanuf and the town of Zawiyah, west of Tripoli. Mass protests against Gaddafi’s rule were scheduled to begin after noon prayers across the country, but in Tripoli, Gaddafi supporters have set up checkpoints throughout the city to prevent protesters from moving about.
Forces aligned with Libyan leader Col. Muammar Gaddafi have launched new assaults to regain control of several towns captured in a popular uprising over the past two weeks. Meanwhile, two U.S. warships have moved through the Suez Canal into the Mediterranean Sea toward Libya under orders by U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates. Amy Goodman’s interview to Horace Campbell.
The Libyan regime has launched today a new assault on the opposition amidst growing international pressure. Forces loyal to the Libyan leader, Colonel Muammar Gaddafi, tried to retake the now rebel-controlled towns of Zawiyah and the eastern city of Misrata overnight, but both attacks appear to have been repelled by now.
Strange as this may sound, there is a mainstream in the unsanctioned confederacy of dictators. Whether of the present times or from the distant past, the mainstream dictator is usually decidedly understated, more often than not a loner, eccentric in private habits, and almost as a trademark, lives in a complex world of paranoia.
By Eskinder Nega
Fears of a humanitarian crisis in Libya are growing amidst escalating violence between rebels and forces loyal to the regime of Colonel Muammar Gaddafi. Anti-government groups have seized control of more areas as they close in on the capital city, Tripoli. On Sunday, protesters claimed the town of Zawiyah, just 30 miles from the capital.
The UN refugee agency on Sunday said a “humanitarian emergency” was underway as thousands fled Libya in a mass exodus of foreigners from the strife-torn country by air, land and sea.
“We call upon the international community to respond quickly and generously to enable these governments to cope with this humanitarian emergency,” said the UN High Commissioner for Refugees.
Forces opposed to Kadhafi took control of several western Libyan towns, an official said on Sunday as the strongman played down rebel gains after world leaders called on him to quit.
Protest leaders established a transitional “national council” in several eastern and western cities seized from the Kadhafi regime and called on the army to help them take the capital Tripoli.
United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay is warning thousands of people may have been killed in Colonel Muammar Gaddafi’s assault on the growing Libyan uprising. The United Nations is also warning Libya’s food supply network is on the brink of collapse. Deadly clashes are ongoing as anti-government forces close in on the capital city of Tripoli.
Libyan Colonel Muammar Gaddafi continues to unleash a wave of violence as he struggles to wipe out a growing uprising against his rule. Reports continue to emerge of scores of human rights abuses by pro-Gaddafi forces. A number of people were reportedly killed today when Libyan forces attacked a mosque in the town of Az Zawiyah.
Libyan leader Moamer Kadhafi ordered his forces to crush an uprising that has rocked his 41-year rule, warning armed protesters they will be executed and vowing to fight to the end.
In a defiant and rambling television speech, Kadhafi vowed to remain in Libya as leader, saying he would die as a martyr in the land of his ancestors and fight to the “last drop” of his blood.