Cross posted from The Stars Hollow Gazette
Last Saturday, the UN Security Council voted unanimously to to impose sanctions and called for an investigation of war crimes by Libya’s leader, Col. Muammar el-Qaddafi, and his inner circle of advisers. The vote, only the second time the Security Council has referred a member state to the International Criminal Court, comes after a week of bloody crackdowns in Libya in which Colonel Qaddafi’s security forces have fired on protesters, killing hundreds. In the capitol of Tripoli there are bread lines, barricades and doctors telling foreign journalists that the bodies of the dead and wounded were being carried away from the hospitals by “Gaddafi cars”.
Christiane Amanpour interviewed Gaddafi’s son, Saif al-Islam Gadhafi, and this morning, reported an interview with Gaddafi, himself, who is more delusional than Charlie Sheen.
I interviewed Col. Moammar Gadhafi this morning, when he told me he cannot step down because he is not a president or king, and claimed there have been no demonstrations in the streets of Libya’s capital.
“My people love me. They would die for me,” he said.
“I’m surprised that we have an alliance with the west to fight al Qaeda, and now that we are fighting terrorists they have abandoned us,” he said. “Perhaps they want to occupy Libya.”
US Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton, speaking at the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva, delivered a strong message from the White House calling for Gaddafi to step down and for his government to be held accountable. In Behghazi, the new National Libyan Council was announced. Led by former justice minister Mustafa Mohamed Abdel Jalil to put a political face on the revolution and to lead the country while it prepares for elections.
PARIS – The United Nations refugee agency says almost 100,000 people have fled Libya’s fighting to neighboring Tunisia and Egypt in what it called a humanitarian emergency.
The numbers seem to have increased over the weekend as armed rebel forces moved closer to a showdown with Col. Muammar el-Qaddafi and his loyalists who were standing their ground in Tripoli, the capital, and a handful of other places.
The executive director of the World Food Program was traveling to Tunisia on Monday to meet with government officials on refugees’ needs and the impact on the region. In Geneva, Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton announced that the United States Agency for International Development was dispatching two teams to Libya’s borders in Tunisia and Egypt to assess the need for emergency assistance. USAID, she said, had set aside $10 million funds for humanitarian assistance and begun an inventory of American emergency food supplies.
By NANCY A. YOUSSEF, JONATHAN S. LANDAY AND WARREN P. STROBEL
BENGHAZI, Libya — The United States is moving naval and air forces, including an aircraft carrier, into the Mediterranean Sea near Libya, U.S. officials said Monday, as the Obama administration and its allies consider how to respond to Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi’s brutal efforts to suppress a widespread rebellion among civilians and army troops.
The U.S. decision comes as Gadhafi appeared to be making a concerted effort to retake control of Zawiya, a town about 30 miles west of Tripoli that has been in rebel hands since last week. Two people reached separately by phone said heavy fighting had broken out in the early evening Monday as militias loyal to Gadhafi attacked from both the east and the west.
Russia and China join west in UN war crimes ruling as Britain revokes immunity for leader and family
Saudi Aramco, the world’s largest state oil company, is ready to compensate for any shortfall in crude supply, Chief Executive Officer Khalid Al-Falih said, as oil prices rally on potential shortages from Libya.
Saudi Arabian Oil Minister Ali al-Naimi said on Feb. 22 that his country and other OPEC members would make up for any production losses. The International Energy Agency said in a Feb. 25 statement that Saudi Arabia has been offering extra crude supplies to offset lost Libyan barrels.
The city of Zawiyah, controlled by rebels but surrounded by Gaddafi loyalists, is a metaphor for the current stalemate
Prime minister tells MPs he has asked defence ministry to work on plans for military no-fly zone over Gaddafi’s riven country
(CNN) — Italy has suspended a treaty it signed three years ago with Libya that includes a nonaggression clause, a spokesman for the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs said Monday.
“The friendship treaty is null and void,” said Aldo Amati, deputy press secretary for the ministry, in a telephone interview. Under the 2008 treaty between Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi and Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi, Italy paid Libya $5 billion to compensate Libya for the colonial rule.
“We no longer consider the Gadhafi government as our interlocutor, so we don’t think it’s applicable right now.”
As constitutional amendments are rolled out , restrictions on religious political parties remain.
A panel of experts set up by Egypt’s ruling military council to amend the constitution has unveiled the first set of political reform since the revolution.
Sobhi Saleh, a member of the judicial committee appointed by the military council, told Reuters news agency, that the army is set to cancel a law which gave ousted president Hosni Mubarak’s administration the power to decide who
was allowed to form a party, .
The panel is also expected to call a referendum in March on historic changes to the constitution unveiled on Saturday, including reforms that will open up competition for the post of president which Mubarak held for 30 years.
Attorney general announces travel ban and freeze on Hosni Mubarak’s domestic assets in possible prelude to prosecution
The measures extend to Mubarak’s wife and children – including his youngest son, Gamal, a former banker and close associate of many of Egypt’s leading businessmen – and may be the prelude to a formal prosecution.
A number of former ministers from the deposed regime have already been made subject to travel bans and asset freezes since Mubarak was forced out of office on 11 February, and many are now facing possible trial on charges ranging from corruption to the unlawful killing of protesters.
Until now Mubarak had seemed to be shielded from investigation by the ruling military council, a source of much anger among pro-change demonstrators who accuse army generals of cutting a deal with the former leader.
SOHAR, Oman (Reuters) – Demonstrators blocked roads to a main port in northern Oman and looted a nearby supermarket on Monday, part of protests to demand more jobs and political reform that have spread to the sultanate’s capital.
A doctor said six people had been killed in clashes between stone-throwing protesters and police on Sunday in the northern industrial town of Sohar. Oman’s health minister said one person had been killed and 20 wounded.
Hundreds of protesters blocked access to an industrial area that includes the port, a refinery and aluminum factory. A port spokeswoman said exports of refined oil products of about 160,000 barrels per day (bpd) from the port were unaffected.
US Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Navy Admiral Mike Mullen, during his talks with Bahrain’s leadership, reaffirmed his country’s strong commitment to the military relationship with Bahraini defence forces, said Captain John Kirby, the admiral’s spokesman.
Admiral Mullen thanked Bahraini leaders “for the very measured way they have been handling the popular crisis here”, during his meeting with His Majesty King Hamad and His Royal Highness Prince Salman bin Hamad Al Khalifa, Crown Prince and Deputy Supreme Commander, said the spokesman.
WASHINGTON – President Barack Obama extended US support for a “national dialogue” in Bahrain, and said it should be “inclusive, non-sectarian and responsive” to the people of the Gulf kingdom.
Obama’s statement came a day after King Hamad bin Issa al-Khalifa reshuffled his cabinet and allowed the return to the country of an exiled opposition leader after 13 days of protests.
As protests continued Sunday in Bahrain, Obama welcomed the king’s changes and reaffirmation of his commitment to reform.