Gaddafi offered exit deal

2011-06-11 09:18

Tripoli - Turkey has offered Muammar Gaddafi guarantees to leave Libya but has yet to receive a reply, as rebels say loyalist forces killed 20 people in a fierce assault on Misrata.

Fresh Nato-led strikes sent up plumes of smoke Friday in Tripoli, where the strongman has his residence and headquarters.

But in Brussels, US Defence Secretary Robert Gates warned the Western alliance's air war on forces loyal to Gaddafi could be in peril because of military shortcomings.

Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan said his government had offered exit "guarantees" to the embattled Libyan leader, whom rebels have been trying to oust since February following a bloody crackdown on pro-reform protests.

Gaddafi "has no other option than to leave Libya - with a guarantee to be given to him," Erdogan said on NTV television.

"We have given him this guarantee. We have told him we will help him to be sent wherever he wants to go," he added, without elaborating.

"Depending on the reply we will get from him, we will take up the issue with our (Nato) allies, but unfortunately we have received no reply so far."

His comments came after a day of deadly fighting near the port city of Misrata, the rebels' most significant enclave in western Libya, some 200 kilometres from Tripoli.

Beaten back loyalists

Gaddafi's forces had bombarded the Dafnia area on Misrata's outskirts with Grad rockets, heavy artillery and tank shells, a rebel said.

"Twenty people, both civilians and rebels, were killed and more than 80 wounded," in the sector, 35km from Misrata city centre, he added.

But they had beaten back an attack by loyalist troops, leaving "dead and wounded among the Gaddafi forces," he said.

In the Libyan capital Tripoli, two loud blasts were heard at about 15:00 (13:00 GMT), coming from the eastern suburbs of Tajura and Ain Zara, residents told AFP.

Three powerful explosions shook the city centre at around midnight. Other more distant blasts followed.

Tripoli has over the past two days been subjected to the most intense Nato air raids since the international military campaign was launched on March 19 under a UN mandate to protect Libyan civilians.

In Paris, Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi's daughter Aisha filed a second war crimes complaint against Nato and France over air strikes that killed family members, including three infants, her lawyer said.

In Moscow, Russian President Dmitry Medvedev's special envoy Mikhail Margelov said he would be visiting Tripoli to try to find a solution to the conflict, having met the opposition in their Benghazi stronghold.

Half of Nato out

Thursday saw a surge of support for the rebels battling to oust Gaddafi at a meeting in Abu Dhabi of the International Contact Group on Libya.

Key powers agreed to unlock a billion dollars for their coffers, and the United States joined Australia and Spain in recognising the rebels National Transitional Council (NTC) as Libya's legitimate representative.

Gates, the Pentagon chief, expressed concern on Friday with half of the countries in the 28-member Nato alliance not participating in the Libya campaign, many simply did not have the wherewithal.

"Frankly, many of those allies sitting on the sidelines do so not because they do not want to participate, but simply because they cannot," Gates said.

"The military capabilities simply aren't there."

Norway, which has contributed six F-16 fighters, said however that it would first reduce its participation before pulling out altogether on August 1.

And Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte said that while his country supported a three-month extension of the Nato air campaign, its six F-16s would not fly bombing missions.

US Senator Carl Levin, head of the Senate Armed Services Committee, said later that Gaddafi's forces had been "severely degraded" and the Nato operation was "going well", following a briefing from Pentagon officials.

Gaddafi sent a letter to the US Congress praising its criticism of President Barack Obama over Libya, a Washington source said.

Rapes controversial

"We are confident that history will see the wisdom of your country in debating these issues," said the letter seen by AFP, signed by Gaddafi as "Commander of the Great Revolution".

Congressional sources said they could not confirm the letter's authenticity.

A UN top official meanwhile objected to a colleague's sceptical reaction to reports of mass rape in Libya.

On Thursday, UN human rights investigator Cherif Bassiouni expressed doubts over claims by the chief International Criminal Court prosecutor Luis Moreno-Ocampo of evidence that Gaddafi had ordered mass rapes.

Margot Wallstroem, the UN special representative of the secretary-general on sexual violence in conflict objected to Bassiouni's suggestion that the reports might be down to "massive hysteria".

"I think we should avoid such language," said Wallstroem.

"What does it stand for? Does it mean that media has reported repeatedly? Does this constitute hysteria?"

  • Anton - 2011-06-11 09:53

    There is more chance that it will snow in Kinshasa, than that this criminal will leave Libya voluntary. ,, Why should I ? My people love me !! " Uprising ?? What uprising ?? ,, Just a few hooligans in Benghazi, throwing some stones " Its such a shame that the USA , got soo little interest in Libya, if they would have had some interest in their oil or whatever, , this disturbed thug, would have been gone long ago.

      Martin du Plessis - 2011-06-11 11:09

      Ahh, but then they'd be in deep international poopie YET AGAIN. Also, the oil in lybia goes to Europe. Almost none of it makes it to the rest of the world. Just another case of "Damned if you do, Damned if you don't"

      tryanything - 2011-06-11 19:17

      he will go to France...they usually take all north african dictators

      Barry - 2011-06-15 13:18

      He will end up in Plettenberg Bay South Africa

  • Macho Mike - 2011-06-11 10:21

    The man is a cockalorum. All he needs is a bullet through the head. Finish and klaar, time to move on.

      Marcell - 2011-06-11 20:29

      You kill a pig with a hammer. Right between the eyes!

      zaatheist - 2011-06-12 05:22

      Best is to hand him over to the mothers of the sons he has killed. Then walk away and let them dispose of him and his sinister sons.

  • Airwolf - 2011-06-11 10:41

    Is Turkey saying their "guarantees" over ride international law on war criminals?

      Sooth Slayer - 2011-06-15 09:52

      what international law on war criminals? NATO/ the west are the law and thus whatever they say is the law on that day is the law!

      slg - 2011-06-15 16:37

      So much for being informed Soothsayer. Have you researched the ICC in Wikipedia? Clearly not.

  • Duncan - 2011-06-11 10:47

    I can't wait for him to bugger off into obscurity. I will miss his outbursts like calling for the 'abolition' of Switzerland, a united African currency called the 'Afro', the Queen of England to also face uprisings because she's been on the throne longer than he's been in charge, etc

      Anton - 2011-06-11 11:14

      Duncan, Yes, if in this civil war, no people would be dying, this totally crazy guy, would be the joke at dinner tables around the world. Before this current conflict, people in Europe and in America, did not know Gaddafi that well. They knew he was a terrorist, a ruthless leader,and came up with some insane suggestions, like a United Africa and other ,great, brainless ideas. But it was only at his ,press conference, he held, in the first few days of this uprising, that one really started to realize that this was no longer a difference of opinion, but one was dealing here with someone who is INSANE. And soon thereafter, this Gaddafi and Sons unleashed a terror in this country, beyond believe. For me, they don't have to send them The Hague , just hang these scumbags from a tree.

      Martin du Plessis - 2011-06-11 11:28

      You know, i'm starting to see a pattern with these long-time and vocal dictators. Their utterances become increacingly insane and illogical. Look at venezuela and Malema.

  • YES - 2011-06-11 10:55

    There are cracking signs in the coaliation than what US wnats us to believe. Countries that make up Nato are themselves divided and so is a coalition. It is encouraging to read that countries such as Holland and Norway have issued a notice that they are going to scale down their operation and support in the war against Libya. The UN has also been exposed by an attempts to suppress a report that is contradicting the ICC prosecutors. Unlike reports that we have been getting about the war in Libya, I must commend today's report. It is most balance than a trash we have been bombarded with all the time. New24 must be praised for digging and bringing to the fore a balance news from the war front ever. Viva! New24 Viva!

      Anton - 2011-06-11 12:27

      Yes, Stick to the facts. It is not that Holland or Norway don't longer want Gaddafi and Sons to go. I doubt you will find one person, and I mean , ONE PERSON, in these two countries, who supports this criminal disturbed thug. The fact is that the strength of NATO, is with the UK , France and Italy. It is not that Holland and Norway don't have the will to help these brave African brothers and sisters in Benghazi, they don't have the military power. But they give plenty other support to Benghazi !

      slg - 2011-06-11 15:47

      You're still on the wrong side YES, supporting tyranny and oppression of Africans. Deeply disappointing.

  • Deset Rat - 2011-06-11 11:02

    Exit gaurantees for Gadaffi, this sounds great! South Africa needs a boost to its economy, as long as the garentees include unlocking all his assetts around the world, I hope he chooses to come to South Africa. What I like about him, he is not a religious fanatic. I remember him telling the Palestinians many years ago. Why do they keep fretting about the Mosque and making East Jerusalem their Capital. He said a Mosque is a Mosque and is of equal value where ever it may be. "It can be a tent in the desert" he said. He may be many things, but what he is not, a religious maniac.Because of this I like him.

  • patience.kabamba - 2011-06-11 11:13

    Media has exagerated many things. It is not new Mrs Wallstroem. Ceaoucescou's death was partly caused by the news made up by journalist. Remember during the run up to the war in Irak, the media show us a nurse who was not one. I support the histeria comment. Accuse your dog of having a rege and you are allowed to kill him

      Anton - 2011-06-11 11:43

      Patience, If only ten percent of what the media shows us from out of Libya, is true, it would still be totally horrifying. The terror that these Gadaffi thugs are willing to unleash on their own people, is beyond believe. Hang this Gaddafi ROT !!

      Wes - 2011-06-11 13:36

      lol You should watch what Chris Rock got to say about people blaming the media. " I don't see Ted Coppell jackin my ass!" Very funny stuff!

      slg - 2011-06-11 15:53

      Are you still pro-Gadhafi Patience, notwithstanding that he is slaughtering Africans to hold onto power, deny Africans the right to vote, and hold onto billions of dollars that belong to the Libyan people?

      slg - 2011-06-11 16:04

      Patience, now that Russia and China have joined the international community against Gadhafi, are you clearer about what is really happening in Libya? Or do you still want these countries to bomb London, Paris and New York?

  • yufanyi - 2011-06-11 12:09

    Guys can u ask France,USA and Germany to attack Syria,North Korea and Zimbabwe we need all this guys out now.Not doing here for particular interest and there for some other stuff.I guess or believe the sited countries have longterm presidents who have committed crimes against humanity before Kaddafi.

      slg - 2011-06-11 15:49

      Success in Libya will hopefully lead o that, but the precursor has to be the will of the people for democracy in those countries.

  • Cecil - 2011-06-11 12:47

    I can not believe people commenting on the panel are Black and let alone S Africans. You people don't know a jack about politics. The real reason that the dude is getting Nato lashes is that, 2 or 3 years ago- he wanted to transfer the Oil into the people's hands. The same rebel leaders dis-asgreed. eventualy, they will also be screwed by the westerners. Its a shame that once our great president said, Africa will and must solve its problem. We are too corrupt to grasp that. We are fooled by the west and we will end up as economic slaves. they did it before with human and its happening with economy. we are just too dump to see how developed Libya was. Libya should solve its problem and africa has to help when Libya has no solution. We are so white and we forget how black africa is.

      Anton - 2011-06-11 13:17

      Cecil , What do you mean, "the same rebel leaders , disagreed" ?? Many of these socalled ,Rebel, leaders, were, until recently, close allies to Gaddafi and Son. It was only , when they saw that this tyrant, would unleash an unbelievable terror campaign against his own people, including mowing down , unarmed protesters, that these leaders left for Benghazi.

      slg - 2011-06-11 15:51

      Cecil, your talking crap. You're steeped in victimhood. The so-called West (which actually in Libya includes the entire world now) is not out to get you.

      slg - 2011-06-11 16:06

      You are fooled by your confusion. "We" are not fooled by the so-called West. You're not our spokesman.

  • hafezhamza - 2011-06-11 18:14

    all da americans want is the oil in libya.if they so concerned about safety of people why dont they go to syria or yemen?there has been more longer uprisings there than in libya

      Anton - 2011-06-11 18:49

      The American military are not involved in Libya. But I totally agree with you, when the world, let's these tyrants in Syria and Yemen slaughter their own people, without doing anything about it, it's very sad indeed. Unfortunatelly , individual African countries can't do anything , and if one has to wait for an African concensus to take action, by that time there won't be a single person alive in these countries, except of course these thugs themselves and their family. Europe has just got no appetite to get involved in any more uprisings in this part of the world...oil or no oil !! But, don't despair, in all three of these countries, these brave ,Rebels, WILL get these criminal dictators out. FOR SURE!!

      Gundaan - 2011-06-11 23:33

      Hafezhamza be assured ...if the Americans wanted the oil ..ANYWHERE in the world , they would simply take it & no country in the world today will stop them ...

      slg - 2011-06-12 08:44

      How many people have explained to you that Libya produces just 2% of the world oil? You're being stupid.

  • Numsa - 2011-06-13 20:18

    gadafi is welcome here and we should open our houses to this hero !!

      slg - 2011-06-15 16:39

      You need to live in Zimbabwe and Cuba for a few years. What's the matter with you? Have you no regard for basic human rights for Africans, after all that we in South Africa went through during Apartheid?

      Eric - 2011-06-17 10:58

      soort soek soort

  • Eric - 2011-06-17 10:53

    Hierdie ou lyk of iemand hom met n papsak gemoer het.

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