Monday, August 22, 2011

"... Libya belongs to the Libyan people.."

From NATO:

22 Aug. 2011

Statement by the NATO Secretary General on the situation in Libya

The Qadhafi regime is clearly crumbling. The sooner Qadhafi realises that he cannot win the battle against his own people, the better -- so that the Libyan people can be spared further bloodshed and suffering.

The Libyan people have suffered tremendously under Qadhafi’s rule for over four decades. Now they have a chance for a new beginning. Now is the time for all threats against civilians to stop, as the United Nations Security Council demanded. Now is the time to create a new Libya – a state based on freedom, not fear; democracy, not dictatorship; the will of the many, not the whims of a few.

That transition must come peacefully. It must come now. And it must be led and defined by the Libyan people.

NATO is ready to work with the Libyan people and with the Transitional National Council, which holds a great responsibility. They must make sure that the transition is smooth and inclusive, that the country stays united, and that the future is founded on reconciliation and respect for human rights.

Qadhafi's remaining allies and forces also have a great responsibility. It is time to end their careers of violence. The world is watching them. This is their opportunity to side with the Libyan people and choose the right side of history.

We will continue to monitor military units and key facilities, as we have since March, and when we see any threatening moves towards the Libyan people, we will act in accordance with our UN mandate.

Our goal throughout this conflict has been to protect the people of Libya, and that is what we are doing.

Because the future of Libya belongs to the Libyan people. And it is for the international community to assist them, with the United Nations and the Contact Group playing a leading role. NATO wants the Libyan people to be able to decide their future in freedom and in peace. Today, they can start building that future.

War on Terror News has this:
Monday, August 22, 2011

Tripoli Falls to Libyan Rebels

VoA News: Libyan rebel fighters have pushed into Tripoli's central Green Square after moving past the city's outer defenses and announcing they had detained two of leader Moammar Gadhafi's sons, including his one-time heir apparent, Seif al-Islam.

Rebel troops approaching from the west met little resistance as they raced through government positions outside the capital. Thousands of Tripoli residents celebrated as opposition fighters entered the symbolic square that they have renamed Martyrs Square, where jubilant Libyans tore down posters of Mr. Gadhafi and stomped on them. Until recently, the government had used the area for mass demonstrations in support of Libya's now embattled leader.

Rebel leaders acknowledged early Monday that pockets of resistance still remain in and around Tripoli. A spokesmen said opposition fighters had surrounded the Bab al-Aziziya compound where they believe Mr. Gadhafi may be holding out, but that they are reluctant to begin an all-out assault.

A rebel spokesman said insurgents sent a group of fighters into the capital by sea from the port of Misrata. He also said the elite presidential guard in charge of protecting Mr. Gadhafi had surrendered, enabling the opposition to seize large parts of the city.

Earlier, the International Criminal Court confirmed that Seif al-Islam is in detention. He is indicted along with his father and Libya's intelligence chief on charges of crimes against humanity for allegedly planning and ordering illegal attacks on civilians in the early days of the violent crackdown on anti-government protests....

More - including a timeline of the the citizens uprising - from War on Terror News here.

BBC is carrying live reports from Libya here.

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