Gaddafi threatens house to house purge

2011-02-22 22:22

Tripoli - Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi on Tuesday ordered his forces to crush an uprising that has rocked his 41-year rule, warning armed protesters they will be executed and vowing to fight to his last.

In a defiant, sometimes rambling speech on television, Gaddafi vowed to remain in Libya as head of its revolution, saying he would die as a martyr in the land of his ancestors and fight to the "last drop" of his blood.

Proclaiming the support of the people, Gaddafi ordered the army and police to crush the popular uprising against his iron-fisted four-decade rule that has already left hundreds dead in the past eight days.

He threatened to purge Libya "house by house" and "inch by inch".

In the live speech, the 68-year-old former army colonel said, "Muammar Gaddafi is the leader of a revolution; Muammar Gaddafi has no official position in order for him to resign. He is the leader of the revolution forever."

"This is my country, my country," he shouted, in a roughly 75-minute speech consisting of short, angry bursts of words, which he punctuated by shaking his fist or pointing his finger.

Despite widespread reports that army, police and militias had killed unarmed demonstrators indiscriminately over the past week, Gaddafi said "we have not yet used force".

People are with me

However, he said "if the situation worsens we will use it in line with international law and Libya's constitution".

"The Libyan people are with me," he said, calling on them to demonstrate from Wednesday. "Capture the rats," he said of anti-regime demonstrators.

"Go out of your homes and storm them" wherever they are.

"Any Libyan who carries arms against Libyans will be punished by death," he thundered, while threatening tough action in line with what he said had been done against insurgents in Moscow and Iraq and freedom protesters in Beijing.

Despite his show of defiance, Gaddafi's grip on Libya appeared increasingly shaky as ambassadors quit and fighter pilots defected, flying to Malta where they said they had refused to follow orders to fire on protesters.

His sense of isolation was being underlined at a meeting of the UN Security Council meeting, called after Libyan diplomats who have broken ranks from him called for a UN no-fly zone over the country and humanitarian action.

The session marked the first time that the world's most powerful nations have gathered at UN headquarters to discuss the Arab uprisings.

Ibrahim Dabbashi, the Libyan deputy ambassador who has called for Gaddafi to stand down and sent the letter demanding Tuesday's meeting, said "we are expecting something to protect the Libyan people" to be decided by the council.


Talking to reporters as he went into the meeting, Germany's UN Ambassador Peter Wittig said that "the scale of violence by the Libyan security forces against peaceful demonstrators is really shocking".

Although government restrictions have complicated the task of compiling a tally, Human Rights Watch said 233 had been killed in the uprising while the International Federation for Human Rights put the toll at between 300 and 400.

Navi Pillay, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, said the authorities should immediately stop using violence, adding that "widespread and systematic attacks against the civilian population may amount to crimes against humanity".

There have been widespread reports by witnesses that the air force has been strafing protesters, and Pillay said an independent inquiry was needed.

After flaring up in the east last week, the uprising spread to the capital on Monday, where protesters attacked police stations and the offices of the state broadcaster and set government buildings ablaze.

Residents of two districts in Tripoli said by telephone there had been "a massacre", with gunmen "firing indiscriminately" in Tajura district.

Another in Fashlum said helicopters had landed what he called African mercenaries who opened fire on anyone in the street, killing many people.

Terrified expatriates were hunkered down with their families awaiting evacuation.

Forces pillaging

France said it was sending three air force planes to Tripoli to evacuate its nationals and Britain announced plans to send both a charter flight and to deploy a Royal Navy frigate to help evacuate citizens caught up in unrest.

Souhayr Belhassen, head of the International Federation for Human Rights (IFHR), quoted witnesses as saying militias and security forces loyal to Gaddafi were "breaking down doors and pillaging" to quell the revolt.

"It is impossible to remove the corpses from the road; we are shot at from above," one witness was quoted as telling a Libyan rights group.

On Monday, witnesses in Tripoli reported massacres in certain neighbourhoods of the capital after Libyan television announced that security forces were assaulting "dens of terrorists".

But Gaddafi's son, Seif al-Islam, quoted on television, denied reports the armed forces had bombarded the cities of Tripoli and Benghazi to the east, after al-Jazeera television reported raids in the capital.

The Arab League said in a statement Tuesday it has barred Libya from attending its meetings until Tripoli responds to the demands of anti-regime protesters, following clashes that have killed hundreds.

The League has decided to "stop the government of Libya from participating in meetings of the Arab League and all bodies affiliated to it, until the Libyan authorities respond to demands, guaranteeing the security and stability of its people," it said.

  • marco - 2011-02-22 22:46

    Libya has been run by Gaddafi(1969-)for more than 40 years,much longer than Egypt's Hosni Mubarak(1981-2011).Like most Arab World Rulers or Arab monarchies including the Arab monarchical republics,Libya's government is a family run government,the Gaddafi's,and they run the country like it's their cash machine or ATM.That's how it is with most if not all of these Arab Rulers.They don't give a f**k about democracy or constitutional rule or unaccountable rule,what they,the family,says is law and **** everybody else and that's how Libya sees it.Did anybody notice how carefully Secretary of State Hillary Clinton was in choosing her words in her report this evening on tv concerning Libia.She was more forthright and direct when she spoke about Egypt,Tunisia and Bahrain a few weeks ago compared to how she addressed Gaddafi's Libya.Why is that?Because that's how America is or behaves when it doesn't have good relations with other nations.America has Egypt,Bahrain and Tunisia in bed so they don't give a **** telling these nations what to do next,but not so with Libya.Syria and Iran must be watching very closely America's treatment of these opposite reactions of government of(1)Egypt/Tunisia/Bahrain and(2)Libya towards it's peaceful demonstrators and say hang on a minute how come two different approaches to the same problem by America-the World's Police Department.Libya has massive oil and gas reserves and so does Iran hence these countries have what everybody especially the WEST needs most and that's an energy source. China,the world's bank account with it's 4.4 trillion dollars credit surplus is STOEPSTIL on what's going on in the Middle East,I guess a toebek is 'n heelbek hey CHINA.

      Mpho - 2011-02-23 07:49

      do you expect us to read this big paragraph

  • Bill - 2011-02-22 23:08

    You're going down Gaddafi...! Good riddance!

  • GhengisKhan - 2011-02-22 23:14

    Go Malema and Zuma - This is a good time to support your Arab Buddy and show the world the your moral fibre.......

  • za101 - 2011-02-22 23:49

    libya should be expelled from african union

  • za101 - 2011-02-22 23:51

    south africa will veto any resolution as the united nation security council that condemns gadaffi

      AJ - 2011-02-23 05:04

      If Western Nations in the Security Council came up with a plan to solve the worlds food shortages without costing anybody a cent, South Africa would veto it. They love giving themselves a little power trip hardon without actually considering the merits of the case.

  • za101 - 2011-02-22 23:51

    does nelson mandela still support gadaffi

  • za101 - 2011-02-22 23:53

    south african citezns must tell zuma to take out south african mercenaries from libya

      marco - 2011-02-23 01:10

      @za101 mate don't get so carried away and sucked into this hyped-up hysteria of yours surrounding Lybia.Confirmed reports said that Tunisian,Egyptian,Sudanese,Palestinian,Syrian,Pakistani,Bangladeshi,Chad and Turkish mercenaries have entered the country to fight on the side of Col.Muammar Gaddafi -no South Africans in the mix- so get your facts straight before blurting out rubbish like that.These mercenaries have been allegedly offered between $12,000 – $30,000 USD each.There’s a Facebook video of a captured mercenary from Chad to verify this Youtube channel albayda2011 has selection of footage including shooting with automatic weapons.Also tread carefully on labelling Mr Mandela as "does nelson mandela still support gadaffi" K@K.Mandela persuaded Colonel Gaddafi to hand over for trial the two Libyans accused of the 1988 Lockerbie airliner bombing.The visit by Gaddafi to Mandela at the time was part of Gaddafi's first foreign trip since the lifting of international sanctions on Libya.All within the rules of international law of which Mandela adhered to.Now's there nothing wrong in that even Bill Clinton when he was president of America met with Gerry Adams in 1995,the president of Sinn Fein,a left wing republican political party closely associated with the IRA in Northern Ireland,to unite the people of Northern Ireland with regards to the peace process over there.When Mr Mandela was release from jail in 1990 it was Colonel Gadaffi's initiatives in seeking a solution to the conflict in the Democratic Republic of Congo and Mandela's own efforts to resolve the Lockerbie dispute that made them two meet in the first place.Again no harm done there is there.

  • za101 - 2011-02-23 00:26

    south africa needs to issue an arrest for gadaffi and his son when he comes to south africa

  • za101 - 2011-02-23 00:30

    south africa needs to seize al afriqiya airlines on south african soil

  • za101 - 2011-02-23 00:38

    south african government needs to sieze afriqyah airlines on south african soil and at oliver tambo intenrational airport

  • MK - 2011-02-23 00:51

    @ZA101 Do you have a prostate problem. You speek the way you piss. One message containing your feelings would suffice. Gaddafi, Mugabe, Idi Amin, etc, were all untouchable. They are the Idiots of Africa. This very fact makes them heroes of Africa because our own Leaders are to Stupid to take note of the facts. Up Yours Africa

  • za101 - 2011-02-23 00:58

    i would not want to be an black south african in libya now. the libyan people are complaining non stop of african mercenaries attacking libyan people there is a risk of south africans especially blacks from south africa being attacked by mistake or even worst still being used by gadaffi as proof of foreign interferance our government needs to send in planes to take all south african out asap.

      Karoogypsy - 2011-02-23 07:23

      That sounds good to me :-))

  • Jonathan - 2011-02-23 01:00

    Did we learn nothing from Rwanda? Our leaders sat around a table and debated the situation while close to a million people were massacred in Africas biggest genocide. Now the same is happening in Libya and no lessons have been learned. The worlds leaders sit around their tables, calling for Gaddafi to back off but offering absolutely no action. A million more will die and the political fat cats will say how terrible it is and how something should have been done but noone will be held accountable.

  • Roy - 2011-02-23 02:42

    "... helicopters had landed what he called African mercenaries who opened fire on anyone in the street, killing many people" Could it be Mugabe helping his old time buddy out??

  • Roy - 2011-02-23 03:06

    The world witnessed how Mugabe slaughtered an entire tribe in Matabileland and turned Zimbabwe from being the "bread basket of Africa" to the begging bowl of the world...and nobody did a damn thing about it!! When the MDC asked for UN help in the last elections, the ANC govt. said there's NO CRISIS in Zim...even our leaders have very short memories it seems. Nowadays it's more important to forge ties with China than to uphold human rights. Nothing new!!

  • AJ - 2011-02-23 05:02

    When he means he will fight to the last drop of his blood, he really means he will stay in the presidential palace surrounded in luxury and his bevy of female bodyguards, whilst soldiers whose last names he does not even know go to the houses of other people they dont know and fight til THEIR last drop of blood. A big difference there...

  • Blip - 2011-02-23 05:56

    This crazy lunatic once officially petitioned the UN to "abolish Switzerland" ! He's stark, staring mad. Libyans need to do a Mussolini on him asap.

  • Christo - 2011-02-23 06:48

    "warning armed protesters they will be executed" How can any leader say that and no other country does a thing? This guy needs to be taken out asap!

      AJ - 2011-02-23 06:51

      The reason he can say things that would normally prickle and stick in one's throat is because he has oil as a lubricant, makes it much easier to swallow.

  • Nico - 2011-02-23 06:58

    ...and to think Gaddafi once said that he wants Africa to be like America... United States of Africa... country....

  • ludlowdj - 2011-02-23 07:25

    South Africa will never stand against Libya, partners in crime stick together. Gaddafi's threat amounts to a declaration of war on the people of Libya,whats the bet the world just sits back and watches until its to late to save most of the people trying to oust Gaddafi?

  • bill - 2011-02-23 07:26

    The great democrat Gaddafi , lauded by the ANC , another bunch of terrorists.

  • RQd2 - 2011-02-23 07:27

    As long as he has the army and the police there is little anyone can really do to force him to step down, short of civil war or foreign invasion.

  • Anthony - 2011-02-23 07:44

    Come on Obama, Libya still has some oil. Its your chance to get in and grab some in the name of Freedom. USA! USA! USA! USA!.......

  • callan - 2011-02-23 07:46

    Dont expect much comment from our "government".... Gaddafi, mad Bob Mugabe, Kim Jong II of North Korea....any lunatic despot who dropped a couple of coins into the ANC coffers during the stuggle automaticaly became an ANC Cousin Brother for life....

  • Dal68 - 2011-02-23 08:14

    Africa....same old-same old, always pushing the edge of genocide, always instating a dictator or suppressor.......this continent is always at war or begging for food, why, because the people follows stupid ideology of their leaders, who only wants to plunder the land and enrich themselves. The leaders feel nothing for their countrymen. Has never changed in Africa, will never change, this is how thie continent works, the biggest thief and criminal and his cronies, they make the rules and the rest live by the sword............

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