Crumbling Libyan regime: Rebels form council, seize more towns

The Express Tribune

NALUT: Rebels in eastern Libya formed a national council on Sunday and pledged to help free areas still under Muammar Qaddafi’s rule while describing the council as the face of the revolution.

A Libyan anti-goverenment protester raises his country’s old national flag in the eastern city of Benghazi on February 27, 2011. PHOTO: AFP

Hafiz Ghoga, spokesman for the new National Libyan Council that was launched in the eastern city of Benghazi, said the council was not an interim government, was not contacting foreign governments and did not want them to intervene.

Still US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said that Washington was “reaching out” to opposition groups in the east.”We are reaching out to many different Libyans in the east as the revolution moves westward there as well … it is too soon to see how this is going to play out,” she added. In neighbouring Egypt, visiting US senators John McCain and Joe Lieberman urged Washington to recognise a transitional government in Libya and provide it with weapons and humanitarian assistance to oust Qadhafi.

Several towns in western Libya have been taken by opposition forces, which are now preparing to march on the capital, a member of a revolutionary committee told AFP in the town of Nalut, a town of 66,000 people.

An AFP reporter arriving in Nalut, found that Qaddafi’s loyalist forces had entirely disappeared from the streets. “The city has been liberated since February 19. It has been run by a revolutionary committee named by the town’s communities,” local lawyer and committee member Shaban Abu Sitta told AFP. The rebels appeared to be also in control of Zawiyah, close to Tripoli.

Qaddafi’s crumbling regime now controls only some western areas around the capital and a few long-time bastions in the arid south, reporters and witnesses say. But the Libyan strongman dismissed as invalid a United Nations Security Council resolution slapping sanctions on his embattled regime. “There are no incidents at the moment and Libya is completely quiet. There is no unrest,” Qaddafi said in a 10-minute statement.

UK freezes assets

Britain has frozen the assets that Qaddafi and his family have held in the European country, the Foreign Office confirmed.

“The government has today taken action to freeze the assets of Colonel Muammar Qaddafi, members of his family and those acting on their behalf or at their direction,” the statement said.

Britain understands that Qaddafi owns around 20 billion pounds ($32.2 billion) in liquid assets, mostly in London.

UNHCR on exodus

The UN refugee agency said on Sunday that close to 100,000 people, mainly foreign migrants, have fled Libya to neighbouring countries by land during the past week of turmoil in the North African nation. “UNHCR emergency teams are working with Tunisian and Egyptian authorities and NGOs (non-governmental organisations) to support close to 100,000 people that have fled the violence in Libya in the past week,” the office of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees said in a statement. Agencies


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One Response to “Crumbling Libyan regime: Rebels form council, seize more towns”

  1. Crumbling Libyan regime: Rebels form council, seize more towns … | Non-governmental organizations Says:

    […] here: Crumbling Libyan regime: Rebels form council, seize more towns … This entry was posted in NGO and tagged egyptian, emergency-teams, fled-the-violence, ngo, […]

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