All remaining diplomats at the Libyan embassy in London have been asked to leave the country in three days. At a press conference in Tripoli, Khaled Kaim, Gaddafi’s deputy foreign minister, has condemned the decision to recognize the NTC as “irresponsible, illegal and in violation of British and international laws.” 32 nations, including the US and the UK, have now recognized the NTC as Libya’s legitimate authority. Russia is one country that has yet to do so; it has criticized the recognition of the NTC as a “policy of isolation” in which nations are taking sides in a civil war and thereby overstepping the United Nations mandate of protecting civilians.
Reporting from Benghazi, the eastern Libyan city that is a rebel stronghold, Al Jazeera‘s Anita McNaught said that the NTC has been running low on cash and that the funds could go towards repairing an oil pipeline to one of the east’s largest oil fields in Soriya. Concerns have been raised about the funds being used for weapons; arms sales of any type are banned under UN sanctions. However, a “source close to the NTC ” has said there is no way to assure the funds may not be used for weapons, which rebel commanders say they are in short supply of. Some soldiers share one weapon between them and vans and pickup trucks are still a key means of transport for rebel soldiers.
Al Jazeera also reports that a rebel offensive in the Nafusa mountains against forces loyal to is the largest yet. Rebel fighters have launched attacks on several towns controlled by the Libyan government with four rebel fights killed and 18 loyalist troops captured. The Guardian notes that “aim is to open up a supply route from Ghezai near the Tunisia border to al-Jawash.” Gaddafi’s forces appear to have launched a counter-offensive and fierce fighting continues.
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Photo of a woman and child entering Tunisia from Libya in March by كة برق | B.R.Q
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