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Libya

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I'll never forget Pan Am Flight 103

I was in fourth grade at the time. Guy managed to hold onto power throughout that entire crisis, and decades after.. but now, it may be his own people who have had enough.

Libya protests: Col Gaddafi under mounting pressure

 

 

Col Muammar Gaddafi's regime is under pressure amid unprecedented protests in the Libyan capital and defections by senior diplomats.

 

Protesters out on the streets of Tripoli late on Sunday were met by security forces using live ammunition and tear gas.

 

Benghazi, the country's second city, now appears to be largely under the control of protesters.

 

But Col Gaddafi's son, Saif al-Islam, has warned that civil war could ignite.

 

In a lengthy TV address, he offered significant political reforms but also vowed that the regime would "fight to the last bullet" against "seditious elements".

 

He acknowledged, though, that the eastern cities of Benghazi and al-Bayda had fallen to the opposition.

 

'Massacre'

On Monday, reports from Tripoli suggested the streets were mainly quiet, with government forces still patrolling Green Square after crushing protests in what witnesses called a "massacre".

 

It followed a night of violence between supporters of Col Gaddafi and anti-government protesters.

 

Gunfire was heard into the early hours of the morning and firefighters struggled to contain a fire at a central government building, the People's Hall, which was earlier set ablaze.

 

Libya's envoy to the Arab League, Abdel Moneim al-Honi, announced he was "joining the revolution" and its ambassador to India, Ali al-Essawi, told the BBC he was resigning in protest against his government's violent crackdown on demonstrators.

 

Mohamed Bayou, who until a month ago was chief spokesman for the Libyan government, said the leadership was wrong to threaten violence against its opponents.

 

"I hope that [Col Gaddafi's son Saif] will... change his speech to acknowledge the existence of an internal popular opposition, to enter into dialogue with them regarding thorough changes in the Libyan system," Mr Bayou said in a statement obtained by the Reuters news agency that appeared to indicate disagreement within the ruling elite.

 

In another blow to Col Gaddafi's rule, two tribes - including Libya's largest tribe, the Warfla - have backed the protesters.

 

More violence ahead?

With Tripoli in ferment, the government has already lost control of much of the east of the country, says the BBC's Jon Leyne in neighbouring Egypt.

 

It is beginning to look like just a matter of time before Col Gaddafi's rule finally collapses, adds our correspondent. However, Libyans are worried about how much more violence lies in store in the days ahead.

 

Human Rights Watch says at least 233 people have died since last Thursday, though in his speech, Saif al-Islam insisted reports of the death toll had been exaggerated.

 

The US, UK and French governments are among those which have condemned the harsh treatment of protesters.

 

Italian Foreign Minister Franco Frattini said the EU needed to formulate a comprehensive action plan - a "Marshall Plan for the Mediterranean and Middle East" - adding that he was particularly worried about Libya collapsing and being supplanted by an Islamic state.

 

"Would you imagine to have an Islamic Arab Emirate at the borders of Europe? This would be a very serious threat and that's why we consider Libya one of the areas to be taken into full consideration," said Mr Frattini.

 

The head of the Arab League, Amr Moussa, described the protesters' demands as legitimate.

 

"The demands of the Arab peoples for reform, development and change are legitimate and... the feelings of all the (Arab) nations are joined in this decisive moment in history," he said.

 

Oil price jumps

Some international firms - including BP, one of the world's biggest oil companies - are preparing to pull their staff out of Libya, and the UK has announced it is flying home the families of diplomats stationed in the country.

 

Meanwhile, at least four foreign workers were injured when several hundred protesters stormed a construction site west of Tripoli.

 

A spokesman for the South Korean-run site said computers and heavy machinery were stolen.

 

A Bangladeshi worker in the port city of Darnah, east of Benghazi, told the BBC around 2,500 foreign workers had been placed under house arrest by anti-government protesters who were in control of the area.

 

The violence has helped to push up oil prices to their highest levels since the global financial crisis of 2008.

 

At one point, Brent crude - one of the main benchmarks on world oil markets - reached $105 (£65) a barrel.

 

 

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-12523669

 

 

 

...........

 

Colonel Muammar Gaddafi has led since 1969

Population 6.5m; land area 1.77m sq km, much of it desert

Population with median age of 24.2, and a literacy rate of 88%

Gross national income per head: $12,020 (World Bank 2009)

 

...........

 

Analysis

 

Jon Leyne

BBC News, Cairo

The situation in Libya is becoming increasingly confused and chaotic. There are several reports that Col Gaddafi has now left Tripoli, possibly for his hometown of Sirt or his desert base of Sabha.

 

In Tripoli itself, elements of the security forces are still on the streets, though the violence seems to be increasingly random.

 

During the night, there were more brutal attacks on demonstrators who had gathered, after rumours spread that Col Gaddafi had fled the country.

 

Hour by hour, there are reports of more defections. Almost all major tribal leaders seem to have joined the opposition, as well as important religious leaders and several senior Libyan ambassadors.

 

The east of the country is already almost entirely out of the hands of the government. Col Gaddafi's hold on power is becoming weaker by the hour.

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Yep, gotta say, it's getting messier than I thought it would.

 

I said it wouldn't fall, not so confident in that call now!!

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yeah, i agree that i'd thought his hold was nearly iron-clad

it seems analysts couldn't have predicted what we see here with any certainty.

i thought, ok, mubarak is goin down. who knows what will replace him, but it's likely the unrest rippling the region isn't strong enough to unseat anyone else... and yet, people power!

 

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-12307698

 

1525: Tim Niblock, an expert on Libya at Exeter University, says it is fairly clear that Col Gaddafi has lost control over the main part of the military in eastern Libya: "There are brigades under two of his sons who are still apparently active a bit, but those are probably marginal by now," he tells the BBC World Service's Newshour programme. "Two key figures are supporting the rebellion and have done, especially one of them, from a very early stage. They feel that the regime has corrupted itself."

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YEah, the Muftis (or whatever they call them there, I'm not a Maghreb guy) have come out in the last few hours saying that it is an Islamic duty to over throw G because he has corrupted himself.

 

That was what made me doubt my call, I wasn't doubting it until the last hour or two.

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1631: Some reaction to the cancellation of the Bahrain Grand Prix. F1 boss Bernie Ecclestone says he is very disappointed, but that it was the only thing they could do. He says the race is postponed at this point, but he does not know when it will be staged. "It is sad that Bahrain has had to withdraw from the race, we wish the whole nation well as they begin to heal their country."

 

1628: Journalist in Istanbul, Turkey, Isin Elicin, tweets: "A retired judge in Benghazi, said: We have buried today 11 bodies of soldiers who refused to fire on civilians."

 

RIP soldiers who refused to fire on civilians.

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1636: A senior source in Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez's government denies Libya's Col Gaddafi is coming to Venezuela, Reuters further reports.

 

1626: UK Foreign Minister William Hague says he has seen some information suggesting Libya's Col Gaddafi is on his way to Venezuela, Reuters reports.

 

 

chaos ensues....

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1657: The entire Libyan delegation to the United Nations has called for international action over events in Libya. The deputy ambassador called for protection for citizens from what he called the genocide being carried out by the Libyan government. He also called for a no-fly zone over the Libyan capital, Tripoli.

1655: UN chief Ban Ki-moon has told Col Gaddafi that violence in Libya "must stop immediately" and called for a broad-based dialogue, a UN spokesman has said.

 

1653: Tarek Siala in Tripoli, Libya, tweets: "#Internet Connection low speed and not stable, maybe cutting in any time in #Tripoli #Libya."

 

1651: The president of the Council of Europe, Ahmet Davutoglu, has said Tunisia can provide a positive model for other countries seeking reform. Mr Davutoglu was in Tunis for talks with Tunisian PM Mohamed Ghannouchi. "The success of Tunisia is very important, not only for the great nation of Tunisia, but for all the region and for the international community," he said.

 

1648: Military aircraft are firing at protesters in Tripoli, al-Jazeera international TV reports.

 

this shit blows my mind. so terrible.

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THat an only be transit though.

 

Also means that he has left either Seif or Motasem in charge. My money is on Seif, but I think I've already shown my lack of knowledge on things Libya.....

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I'm hearing that Mirages escorted two military choppers to Malta, which has been a hub for regional terrorism and criminal activity for years. This screams that Q has skipped town, however I'm now hearing that the aircraft have been surrendered to the Maltese govt.

 

Fucked if I know what that means, sounds too organised to be a defection of pilots.

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interesting!

so much disinformation around though, hard to know what is real.

 

1815: Earlier, British Foreign Secretary William Hague said he had seen information suggesting Col Gaddafi was on his way to Venezuela - but the authorities there have denied any such thing. In Libya, state television said the security forces were storming what it called "dens of terror and sabotage" after overnight demonstrations.

 

1813: With events moving very fast in Libya, here's a quick summary: Amid mounting violence across the country, there are unconfirmed reports that Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi has left the capital, Tripoli. His exact whereabouts are unknown but United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki Moon said he had spoken to him to express deep concern at the escalating violence.

 

1808: As global protests against the Libyan regime pick up pace, nine members of the Libyan embassy staff in London have left the building and joined demonstrators outside, a BBC producer at the scene reports.

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Turns out the jets and choppers defected because they refused to attack the protestors which is apparently what is happening now according to the wires. Also reading that there are naval vessels hitting Tripoli. All sounding pretty out of control. I wonder if the military has split and are fighting amongst themselves or what the hell is going on. Thanks.

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Government ministers and ambassadors to other countries are resigning left and right. Ghadaffi's days are numbered it seems now. Protesters in control of Benghazi including military installations.

The fact that they're using live ammunition and warplanes just shows how desperate Ghadaffi is, he'd be smart to flee the country now before the Libyans do him like Mussolini

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indeed. how sad that his last acts will be that of a terrorist.

 

1841: Libya's deputy ambassador at the UN, Ibrahim Omar Al Dabashi, tells BBC World the Libyan leader will not be able to hold onto power for much longer. "I think it is the end of Col Gaddafi, it is a matter of days, whether he steps down or the Libyan people will get rid of him anyway," he says. He believes Col Gaddafi should be put on trial: "Certainly the best scenario is to have him before the court, to prosecute him and to know from him everything about the crimes he committed before, whether it is the genocide of the prison of Abu Saleem or the genocide he is committing now or the disappearance of certain important personalities... and all the other crimes he has committed during the 42 years in power."

 

1839: This just in from BBC Monitoring, citing the online edition of opposition newspaper Libya al-Yawm: "Mercenaries were reportedly shooting at crowds in Tripoli during an intense air assault. Intense aerial bombing in Tripoli... Panic and fear are overcoming the situation."

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1853: More info on those two Libyan jets that landed in Malta: Maltese government officials say their two pilots defected having been ordered to bomb protesters. One of them has requested political asylum, Reuters reports.

 

 

damn christo, on top of that info.

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2111: In an eye-catching public statement, influential Muslim cleric Yusuf al-Qaradawi told the al-Jazeera TV network that any Libyan soldier who has the oppotunity should shoot and kill Col Gaddafi.

 

2108: Libya's army is reported to have withdrawn from areas by the Egyptian border, Reuters reports. Egypt's army is said to have reported the movement via its Facebook page.

 

2105: However, in Fashloom, a poorer area of Tripoli, the situation is reported to be much worse, our information says.

 

2101: More unconfirmed reports from eyewitnesses in Tripoli: the streets of middle-class residential areas are reported to be quiet, punctuated only by the sounds of cars going round blaring pro-Gaddafi slogans.

 

2055: New information from Tripoli: Eyewitnesses have told the BBC that 60 people are estimated to have died in the city since yesterday.

 

wow, calling for his assassination

no one dared touch mubarak with that kind of incendiary statement..

it's still so funny to me, this modern age, in which the egyptian army updates the world via.... its Fbook page.

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A friend of mine with Libyan roots sent emailed this a few days ago, some interesting resources to check out:

 

so, ... the revolution is not even one week running and it is a very messy one.

 

 

here are a few things being updated constantly, ... realize the data is hard to update fast, ... there are alot of feeds and many hands.

 

 

 

spread sheet reporting dead: [note the numbers are much higher, there are named ...]

 

https://spreadsheets4.google.com/pub?hl=en&key=0AtXDTAZmqxlcdEo4OWxQeWNyUnZDcGlYQlpRYWlwQ1E&single=true&gid=0&output=html

 

 

 

 

digital mapping

 

http://maps.google.com/maps/ms?ie=UTF8&hl=en&msa=0&msid=215454646984933465708.00049c59184ae1136341a&ll=25.601902,18.039551&spn=23.413399,45.197754&z=6

 

 

 

in benghazi the people have taken over a radio station and have live broadcast of news etc...

 

http://libya.blog-video.tv/

 

 

 

 

speak2tweet, a set of numbers are sent out and libyans can call and report what is going on. the calls are available to hear, and are translated into as many languages are there translators... these are set up for other countries as well, egypt, bahrain...

 

http://alive.in/libya/

 

 

 

this is a known arab rapper, ibn thabit, sending a message to the youth of libya, ...stand up.

 

 

 

 

 

there are many, many graphic videos, ... much blood has been shed. there are mercenaries being sent to kill the people. the libyans on the east coast are working very hard to fight for life. they are very isolated from the west side. tripoli is in a tight hold, ... very tight. the east has run out of medical supplies, blood, food/water. no idea about many small villages or much of the west coast.

 

 

blessing to all.

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shit.is.wild.

 

 

i don't even have comments on everything over the last month and a half, etc. as a Turkish-American, it's been very interesting to see all this.

 

And a quick response to Christo from the Egypt thread (I just wanna do it here since it is quieter, and might actually have for a real question and answer):

 

Regarding the notion of a coup versus popular uprising, Yes, I agree that it was technically a coup which ended the regime, however I do contest the belief that a military cannot act as a secular protector of people's rights. Turkey, has long stood as an example of this. Recent events suggest that power is swinging away from the military through and moving towards a less secularly minded govt (even though the majority of people are still mad catholic-muslim (a personal reference to non-practicing muslims)).

 

Either way, I just wanted to say that your comments on the popular uprising versus military state/coup were a little too prima facie for me. I think it does a disservice to the people who sat out there in those public spaces and stood for their lives and those that they love.

 

Just a thought.

 

Good luck Libya.

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Not to side track this, but so far they've traded one military ruler for another (the current one just recently banning strikes by labor unions)

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Will get on to the Egypt thing later, just saw this and thought it was a golden call made by Peres:

 

10:02 am Israeli president Shimon Peres, who is in Spain, said on Monday that it was "an irony of history" that Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi recently called for "a Middle East without Israel" but that it now appeared that "there will be a Libya without Gaddafi". Officially, the Israeli government has had no reaction to the violent revolt in Libya.

 

 

Translation: Screw you Gaddafi, you rambling, weirdo fuck!!

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A friend of mine is Libyan royalty in exile (by descent). I wonder what he's thinking right now.

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