Nato: We're doing a great job in Libya

2011-04-12 19:44

Brussels - A Nato general sharply rejected French criticism Tuesday of the operation in Libya, saying the North Atlantic military alliance is performing well and protecting civilians effectively.

French Foreign Minister Alain Juppe had said Nato should be doing more to take out strongman Muammar Gaddafi's heavy weaponry that is targeting civilians in Libya.

Juppe said Nato's actions were "not enough" and insisted the alliance should be firing on the weapons being used by Gaddafi's forces to target civilians in the rebel-held city of Misrata.

Juppe spoke on France-Info radio the day after Libyan rebels rejected a cease-fire proposal by African mediators because it did not insist that Gaddafi relinquish power.

"Nato has to play its role in full. Nato wanted to take the military command of the operations," Juppe said.

France's frustration with the stalemate on the ground, where Libyan rebels have struggled to capitalise on Western air attacks, has been echoed across Western capitals.

But at Nato headquarters in Brussels, Dutch Brigadier General Mark Van Uhm responded that the alliance was successfully enforcing an arms embargo against Libya, patrolling a no-fly zone and protecting civilians in the North African nation.

"I think with the assets we have, we're doing a great job," Van Uhm told reporters.

However, he repeatedly declined to comment on reports that some alliance members were limiting their planes to patrolling the no-fly zone and prohibiting them from dropping bombs, saying that was a matter on for governments to comment on.

Aid ship

France and Britain, meanwhile, sent out conflicting signals about the need to provide succor to Misrata, which has been subjected to weeks of bombardment by Gaddafi forces.

Juppe said in his interview that the EU had to do more to get humanitarian aid to Misrata, but British Foreign Secretary William Hague told reporters that aid was still getting through.

"Humanitarian assistance is getting through to Libya, including to Misrata. That, so far, has not needed military assistance to deliver it," Hague said before Tuesday's meeting of EU foreign ministers in Luxembourg.

He said those fighting to enforce UN resolutions against Libya had to "maintain and intensify" their efforts through Nato - something the UK had done already by deploying extra aircraft to police the no-fly zone.

"Events in the Middle East are the most important events so far in the 21st century in the world, and the responsibility of the European Union is commensurate with the historic nature of those events," Hague said.

The European Union said over the weekend it was ready to launch a humanitarian mission in Misrata soon, with possible military support, if it received a request from the UN.

IHH, an Islamic aid group in Turkey, said it would send an aid ship to Misrata on Wednesday carrying food, powdered milk, infant formula, medicines and a mobile health clinic. Separately, Van Uhm said two aid ships had already visited the city and another would arrive Tuesday.

The IHH has a mission to assist Muslims in the region. It deployed dozens of activists, including doctors, two days after the Libyan uprising began in February and established a tent city and a soup kitchen at a Libyan border crossing with Tunisia.

Free man

Meanwhile, Libya's former foreign minister, Moussa Koussa, was traveling to Doha, Qatar, to share his insight on the workings of Gadhafi's inner circle, British officials said.

British officials said they hope Koussa's trip to Doha, where Arab and Western leaders are meeting to chart the way forward in Libya, will give participants a better idea of how to force Gaddafi out of office.

"He's a Gaddafi insider. He may be able to offer solutions where others are falling short," said one official, speaking on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the situation.

Qatari officials have not spoken publicly about Koussa's arrival and could not be reached for comment on Tuesday.

Hague is co-chairing the meeting with Qatari prime minister and Foreign Minister Sheik Hamad Bin Jabr Al Thani.

Among those scheduled to attend are Juppe and Greek Foreign Minister Dimitris Droutsas. The United States will be represented by William J Burns, undersecretary of state for political affairs.

Koussa had been held at a safe house since he fled to Britain late last month, but agents from Britain's external intelligence agency MI6 stopped questioning him last week, according to the British official.

Britain's Foreign Office added that Koussa was "a free individual, who can travel to and from the U.K. as he wishes."

Noman Benotman, a relative of Koussa's, said he believed Koussa had "cleared most of the legal hurdles in the UK" surrounding his alleged involvement in the 1988 Lockerbie plane bombing and Libya's arming of the Irish Republican Army.

- AP

Read more on:    un  |  nato  |  muammar gaddafi  |  libya  |  libya protests  |  north africa  |  uprisings
NEXT ON NEWS24X

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
1 comment
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
 

Inside News24

 
 

ANCYL: Not voting would be blasphemy

Not voting in the forthcoming elections would be blasphemy, the ANCYL says in a statement commemorating the 50th anniversary of struggle icon Nelson Mandela's Rivonia trial speech.

 
 

Latest elections multimedia

Why Jack Parow wants you to vote on 7 May
The ad the SABC doesn't want to air
Elections 2014 in one cartoon
This year's election posters
 
Traffic
Lottery
 
  • Thursday Sir Lowry's Pass - 05:35 AM
    Road name: Old Sir Lowrys Pass Road
    TRAFFIC LIGHTS not working at Bezweni Road
  • Thursday Cape Town - 05:35 AM
    Road name: Buitengracht Street
    TRAFFIC LIGHTS not working at Waterkant Street
 
More traffic reports...
 

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Escape winter, head to Mauritius

Escape winter by spending 7 nights in Mauritius' tropical bliss from R13 215 per person sharing. Includes return flights, airport transfers and accommodation. Book now!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

Get many eggs in one basket!

Gaming bundles: 2 Super Hits games for R99, 3 Disney games for R99 and more + exclusive accessory bundles only available on kalahari.com. While stocks last. Shop now!

25% off bestselling books!

The Real Meal Revolution by Tim Noakes, Jeffrey Archer’s Be Careful What You Wish for, Man’s Search for Meaning by Victor E. Frank and many more titles. Shop now!

Up to 25% off electronics

Buy top electronics and save up to 25%. Such as kalahari.com’s 1# selling product the gobii eReader, Patriot X Porter flash drive, Asus Nexus 7” 3G tablet, Samsung Galaxy SIII, Lenovo G580 Notebook and many more. Shop now!

DStv HD PVR Decoder now R949

The DStv HD PVR Decoder has further revolutionised the television experience with lifelike viewing, sharper images, more vibrant colours and precision picture quality. Now R949, save R550. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Up to 30% off appliances & homeware

Save up to 30% on appliances and homeware this Easter! Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now.

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

DSTV Mobile iDrifta

The iDrifta is a plug and play mobile DVB-H receiver...

From R445.00

I'm shopping for:

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

There may be a break through, either through quiet contemplative time to connect to your deep side or forced on you by...read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.








Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.