Obama Condemns Gaddafi’s Actions; Death Toll in Libya Estimated at 1000 [VIDEO]

Yesterday evening, President Obama condemned Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi’s actions as ‘outrageous and unacceptable’ and said that the country faces international sanctions for violence against the protesters. Italy’s foreign minister, Franco Frattini, estimated the death toll in Libya to be around 1,000.

Said the President about Gaddafi, in ‘unequivocal’ language:

“The suffering and bloodshed is outrageous and it is unacceptable. So are threats and orders to shoot peaceful protesters and further punish the people of Libya. These actions violate international norms and every standard of common decency. This violence must stop.

:The United States also strongly supports the universal rights of the Libyan people. That includes the rights of peaceful assembly, free speech, and the ability of the Libyan people to determine their own destiny. These are human rights. They are not negotiable. They must be respected in every country. And they cannot be denied through violence or suppression……

“Like all governments, the Libyan government has a responsibility to refrain from violence, to allow humanitarian assistance to reach those in need, and to respect the rights of its people. It must be held accountable for its failure to meet those responsibilities, and face the cost of continued violations of human rights.”

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has been dispatched to Europe to attend a meeting of the Human Rights Council in Geneva, to discuss what actions might be taken to stop the violence in Libya. 

This video of Libyan soldiers who were killed for disobeying orders was taken in Darnah yesterday, February 23. Please be advised that the video contains horrific footage of dead soldiers, hands bound behind their back, lying face down on the ground.

This video shows protesters in the city of Musirata reacting to Gaddafi’s speech on Monday.

Gaddafi’s control seems to be weakening further, with the opposition taking greater control of the eastern part of Libya and more defections from the senior ranks of the government. The Guardian reports that Gaddafi is ‘holed up with a force of militiamen and tanks’ in Tripoli, which the opposition has vowed to ‘liberate.’

Gaddafi’s residence at Tripoli’s Aziziya Gates is guarded by loyalists along with a line of armed militiamen in vehicles, some masked, an activist reported. The radio station building downtown is also heavily fortified.

Gaddafi’s supporters are a mix of Libyan soldiers and mercenaries from other African nations who have been bused in.

Writing in the London Independent, long-time Middle East correspondent Robert Fisk writes about the situation in Tripoli:

Up to 15,000 men, women and children besieged Tripoli’s international airport last night, shouting and screaming for seats on the few airliners still prepared to fly to Muammar Gaddafi’s rump state, paying Libyan police bribe after bribe to reach the ticket desks in a rain-soaked mob of hungry, desperate families. Many were trampled as Libyan security men savagely beat those who pushed their way to the front.

Among them were Gaddafi’s fellow Arabs, thousands of them Egyptians, some of whom had been living at the airport for two days without food or sanitation. The place stank of faeces and urine and fear. 

Fisk notes that there is ‘little food in Tripoli’ and what there is will cost you three times the usual.

In the video below, Libyans in an unspecified city watch an aide convoy arriving with medicine and food from the Egyptian city of Matruh.

Writing about the ‘exodus of expatriates’ (including 30,000 Turks) who work in Libya’s oilfields, Fisk describes his departure from Tripoli:

On my own aircraft out of Tripoli, an evacuation flight to Europe, there were Polish, German, Japanese and Italian businessmen, all of whom told me they had closed down major companies in the past week. Worse still for Gaddafi, the oil, chemical and uranium fields of Libya lie to the south of “liberated” Benghazi. Gaddafi’s hungry capital controls only water resources, so a temporary division of Libya, which may have entered Gaddafi’s mind, would not be sustainable. Libyans and expatriates I spoke to yesterday said they thought he was clinically insane, but they expressed more anger at his son, Saif al-Islam. “We thought Saif was the new light, the ‘liberal’”, a Libyan businessman sad to me. “Now we realise he is crazier and more cruel than his father.”

While Libya only produces 2% of the world’s oil, disruption in its oil production and, potentially, in other countries such as Algeria could portend high oil prices this year, a potential threat to the ‘already fragile global economic recovery,’ the New York Times.

Libya is an important exporter of oil, mostly to countries in Europe. The country has the largest crude reserves in Africa and is the eight-largest producer in the Organization of Petroleum Exporting countries, according to the International Energy Agency. As many as a million barrels a day have been removed from the market during the uprising of the past several days: The Wall Street Journal reports that oil prices rose to $100 a barrel, the highest in two years. But if Gaddafi suddenly does step down, oil prices could, Mark Waggoner, president of Excel Futures says, drop off. 

Protests continued elsewhere in north Africa and the Middle East. In Bahrain, 308 political prisoners were freed and the opposition laid out demands of the release of all political prisoners, electoral reform, and the formation of a new “national salvation” government, along with an independent investigation into the deaths of seven protesters, according to the Wall Street Journal. In Yemen, seven parliamentarians resigned from President Ali Abdullah Saleh’s ruling party because, they said, of violence against protesters. Al-Jazeera reports that one protester was killed and twelve injured on Tuesday near Sanaa University; some reports said that two were killed and even more injured. Yemen’s minister of tourism has called for early elections.Thousands, many students, marched in the city of al-Mukalla in eastern Yemen, chanting: “The people want the downfall of the regime.’ 

 

TAKE ACTION: Sign the petition asking Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi, who has a close relationship with Moammar Gaddafi, to condemn violence against the Libyan protesters.

 

Most Recent Care2 Coverage of the unrest in the Middle East:

Libyan Opposition Gains Greater Control; Mercenaries Roam Tripoli With Orders To Shoot; U.S. Tries To Evacuate Citizens (VIDEO)

 

World Leaders React To Gaddafi’s TV Address; Update On Protests In Bahrain, Yemen, Algeria and Egypt

In Televison Address, Gaddafi Vows To Fight On And “Die A Martyr”

Gaddafi’s Grip on Libya Weakens; EU Fears Mass Influx of African Migrants [VIDEO]

Egyptian Union Leader to Wisconsin Protesters: ‘We Stand with You as You Stood with Us’


Photo: screenshot of protesters gathering in Martyr's Square in Tripoli via Mukhtar Al Asad's channel.

38 comments

Tim Cheung
Tim C7 years ago

God,help.

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Mary Meijer
- M7 years ago

Noted. We live in a world full of madness and cruelty. Sometimes I can take it, but sometimes I feel like protecting myself and stop reading about it all, and watching the tv, too...

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Silverio D.
Silverio D.7 years ago

No body wants to see my coment ah! The plain truth. Any way, turn off the lights, the party is over Obama and supporters!

Part II

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Additionally, the UN Security Council must put an immediate end to the export or transfer of all arms and military equipment to ISRAEL until the risk of serious human rights violations has ended in Palestina and Gasa. All states of Israel, EU and the US will be complicit in further killings if they do not cease transfers immediately.

In addition, I urge that the Security Council’s recommendations include a determination as to whether the scale of the crimes being committed in PALESTINA, IRAK, AFGANISTAN, MARRUECOS, warrants a referral to the Prosecutor of the ICC.

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HELEN V.
Star S.7 years ago

once again the corporations will seek to exploit another situation like this to make more money. None of these corporations care about the Lybian people. I don't thing Ghaddafi is crazy he and his son are just powemongering greedy people-- like many other dictators that we have seen all over the world who have often been propped up by western governments...

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Barbara V.
Barbara V7 years ago

What insanity, what madness! Hopefully, somewhere along the way this Gaddafi, representing the evils of dictatorship, will get his. I also hope we in the US will be equally as determined as those people to squelch the Repugs' intentions to take away our civil rights. May true freedom reign!!!!

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Yvonne S.
Yvonne S7 years ago

I can't wait for the trouble in Libya to end. It's very worrying.

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John E.
John E7 years ago

Talk talk talk ... yadda yadda yadda .....

Sadly Gaddafi may be too preoccupied to listen...

NO-FLY ZONE ... NOW

And maybe if the west stopped supporting these tyrants with money and military equipment in the name of "stability" that would help ???
This is aiding and abetting genocide. Is this illegal?
I don't see anyone being prosecuted for it.
So I guess not.

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Lynn C.
Past Member 7 years ago

Signed.

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Shell S.
Past Member 7 years ago

Sending them much loving kindness that it ends soon and the people have better rights. Namaste

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Marilyn L.
Marilyn L7 years ago

Gadaffi and Sons need to be closed down. The people have spoken.

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