Medicine, fuel, cash shortages hit Tripoli

2011-07-26 14:10

Tripoli - Libya's capital is wracked by shortages of medicine, fuel and cash despite "aspects of normalcy", the UN fact finders said, as the top US military officer deemed Nato's air campaign at a "stalemate".

Nato meanwhile said on Tuesday it had "no evidence" that civilian facilities were struck in air raids near Zliten east of Tripoli after the Libyan regime accused the alliance of destroying a clinic there and killing seven people.

UN Humanitarian Co-ordinator for Libya Laurence Hart, in a statement issued late on Monday, said the week-long fact-finding UN mission to Libya had identified a number of problems besetting Muammar Gaddafi’s regime, which has been battling rebels seeking to oust the veteran strongman for the past five months.

"Although the mission observed aspects of normalcy in Tripoli, members identified pockets of vulnerability where people need urgent humanitarian assistance," Hart's statement said.

The health sector is under strain, having lost thousands of foreign workers at the beginning of the conflict, it said.

"Medical supplies, including vaccines, are rapidly running low, and the mission received reports of heavy psychosocial impact of the conflict, mainly on children and women," it added.

"Although basic food items are available in the markets, prices are rising and there are concerns over the sustainability of supplies into the city especially as the [Muslim] holy month of Ramadan approaches," it added.

Reduced availability of cash

The UN fact finders also visited Khoms and Zliten, east of Tripoli and close to the frontline, as well as Garyan, south of the capital, where they found "a significant" influx of internally displaced people.

"Fuel shortages have become a pressing problem, and the UN team observed long queues at gas stations, some of which had closed down," the statement said.

"Reduced availability of cash is also a serious concern because many Libyans withdrew their savings from banks at the beginning of the crisis. Banks are restricting cash withdrawals for individual account holders."

A Nato official meanwhile told AFP that alliance warplanes struck military targets near Zliten on Monday but there was no immediate confirmation that a clinic had also been hit.

Foreign reporters were given a tour by government minders of Zliten during which they were shown what they were told was the remains of a clinic hit by a Nato bomb. A local official said seven people were killed in the attack.

The journalists saw a completely destroyed building with a crescent sign at its entrance and the ground littered with surgical gloves, oxygen bottles, pharmaceuticals and stretchers, but no victims.

The Nato official said the regime claims that a clinic had been destroyed would be investigated.

"Nato struck a number of targets near Zliten that were military in nature. These targets were a command and control node and a vehicle storage facility that contained military vehicles," he said.

"We understand that the Gaddafi regime organised a press tour to the area, during which these allegations were made; however, we have no evidence suggesting that these allegations are founded."

The official said that as is the case with all Nato strikes "a thorough damage assessment is conducted afterwards".

Risk of civilian casualties

"As always great care is taken to minimise the risk of civilian casualties. We are always concerned by any reports of civilian casualties, take them seriously and the appropriate analysis will be conducted to ascertain the legitimacy, or otherwise, of these allegations," the official said.

In Washington, the top US military officer Admiral Michael Mullen spoke of a "stalemate" in Nato's Libya campaign but still voiced optimism the strategy would lead to the departure of Gaddafi.

"We are, generally, in a stalemate," Mullen, the US Joint Chiefs of Staff, told a press conference.

He added that Nato has "dramatically attired [reduced] his forces" and "additional pressure has been brought", even if Gaddafi has not been ousted.

"In the long run, I think it's a strategy that will work... [toward] removal of Gaddafi from power," Mullen said.

In London, meanwhile, British Foreign Secretary William Hague on Monday demanded that Gaddafi step down but said the Libyan leader may be allowed to remain in the North African country.

Speaking ahead of talks with French counterpart Alain Juppe, Hague said Britain would prefer for Gaddafi to quit Libya and stressed that France and Britain were "absolutely united" in Nato's current mission against Gaddafi.

"What is absolutely clear, as Alain [Juppe] has said, is that whatever happens, Gaddafi must leave power," said Hague, who has previously indicated that he wanted the strongman to leave Libya.

  • Valis - 2011-07-26 14:48

    More crimes against humanity perpetrated by the evil Americans. When are they ever going to stop wreaking death and destruction upon the planet?

      daaidoos - 2011-07-26 14:55

      What are you talking about? The Americans aren't bombing anyone. France and the UK are with Saudi Arabia helping them as well. You think Gaddafi is Mr nice guy?

      Wes - 2011-07-26 15:36

      @daaidoos These types seem to be constantly popping up to support evil dictators. Who knows what goes on the head of people like Valis. Not much from the looks of it.

      Muzi - 2011-07-26 16:11

      During the cold war, revolutions which halted cultural revolutions like China did, or which left the Socialist bloc, beacame Stalinist, or Socialist, this is because the governments, while preserving the state planned economy became a force against the interests of the people and thus not applying Liberty, Egality & Fraternity. Revolutions which applied Liberty, Egality & Fraternity by implementing a cultural revolution as well as assisting the liberation struggle of other countries to build the world communist system were Communist. By the time Communism had spread through the world, Socialist USSR had to join the fight to defend Communism, making them a politically Communist force under the reign of Breznhev. Libya came to Communism through Islam, applying Liberty (independence from Colonialism & the Jamahiriya), Egality (state control over the economy) and fraternity (helping liberation struggle and helping to Africa’s economic independence by calling for the United States of Africa).

      Muzi - 2011-07-26 16:13

      Communist means a Revolution moving towards Communism or preserving the level of Communist reached by years of cultural revolution after the collapse of the Socialist Bloc. Socialism means moving away, or staying away, from Communism. Of the Central Asian republics, Kazakhstan was wealthy enough to sell its industry in exchange for capital, but the smaller republics were not able to sell everything. Thus Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, and Kyrgyzstan are all semi-Socialist states: they have single parties dominating government and some elements of a state planned economy. Burma began a cultural revolution in 1962, it did not join the Russian socialist bloc, chosing to trade with China as well as Russia, and had not benifited from Russian assistance as Vietnam had. Tanzania, Zambia, Somalia, Iraq and Yugoslavia were the Cold War era forms of Decaying Socialism. The imperialists cleared $3 Billion of Tanzania's debt in 2001 and $4 billion of Zambia's debt in 2011.

      Muzi - 2011-07-26 16:14

      Somalia, Yugoslavia & Iraq were invaded by NATO to prevent the overthrow of government and the takeover of the state & state planned economy by the people which would have resparked Socialism into Communism. Because all of the sparks of the world revolution were snuffed out by NATO, imperialism was preserved till the present. Now that the second great depression has arrived, decaying Socialist countries will spiral downwards to the point of revolution and civil war, which will justify a NATO invasion to ‘help the revolution’ against dictatorships, opening up the potential to wage war on Socialism & Communism worldwide. Thus many decaying Socialist countries which were formerly sparks of the world revolution have been turned into ticking time bombs which will ease mankind into World War III.

      Muzi - 2011-07-26 16:14

      Vietnam, Laos & Nepal are the most Communist of the Socialist countries, South Africa is sliding into this position now that Jacob Zuma, the president of South Africa, has condemned Mugabe as a traitor, and NATO for invading Libya. Since Gaddafi is a true Revolutionary & Libya is a Communist state, the moral & physical attack on it by the historically & currently imperialist Britian, France, the USA, Italy, Canada, Australia & Saudi Arabia is an act of Fascist aggression intended to sabotage the world revolution to prevent the world uniting with Libya and adopting its Communist system, an attack on Syria, Cuba, Belarus, Turkmenistan, or North Korea during a revolution against capitalism in their region, would mean the same thing: The Fourth Reich has come.

      slg - 2011-07-28 04:09

      Muzi, and your point is?

      slg - 2011-07-28 04:12

      Valis, when you turn the picture right-side-up and recognize they are largely a force for good.

  • Muzi - 2011-07-26 15:54

    GENERAL TACTICS FOR THE WORLD REVOLUTION If WWIII begins before the Vth Communist International is created and there is thus no world wide effort to expose fascism and its attack on Communist Libya, then we will be dragged into an unending peoples war against a drugged up NATO military, Al Qaeda and BlackWater USA mercenaries, which will end with the destruction of the world's environment as climate change, flips into its next deadly phase. 1. Unite people to your country's section of the International Jamahiriya Vth Communist using this manifesto. 2. Create the foundation for town/city workers councils (commune/Jamahiriya/soviet). 3. Create a national commune, and then demand the army joins the commune/arm the commune by any means necessary. 4. Replace the government with the National Commune and nationalize all means of production (Banks, capitalist farms, Shops, Industries) into the hands of the commune. 5. Unite the world against NATO armies, Blackwater USA & Al-Queda until the Fascist governments of the World have been overthrown, establishing world peace through worldwide communism: the world united under the international dictatorship of the working class (prolateriat) and other low classes, who democratically own & develop civilization (the means of production, science & culture).

      Wes - 2011-07-26 16:13

      No one is afraid of being an idiot anymore. What is the world coming to.

      Anton - 2011-07-26 20:07

      Muzi, Thank you soo much for typing all this out for us. That's great !!! History is very facinating. BUT, contrary to what you believe, it has little or no relevance at all, for the future of Libya, or for any other country. Not even recent history would have any impact. There are too many other factors that determine a country's future. South Africa is a great example. Before the 1994 elections, there were soo many , who said, this new democracy in SA would never work. History would make this impossible. The political landscape of SA was much to diversified,and soo complicated. Too many different tribes and cultures, who would never live in peace together. One just had to look at the situation in Natal ( KZN ) The Zulu's would never ever be governed by the ANC. And as we all know, for a while it looked,that maybe that was going to be our future; Total Chaos ! And than there were off course the racists, who prayed the different races would never live in peace. But, twenty years on...., it turned out all so different. We are living in a ( relative ) peaceful country. Racism we mainly find on internet sites.......!!! And.........who would in their wildest dreams have believed, that 20 years on, the ANC is the power in KZN, and...... the IFP, is almost no factor there anymore. So Muzi, thanks a lot, but no thank you !!!!!!!

  • Muzi - 2011-07-26 16:20

    AFRICAN REVOLUTION The Socialist governments of South Africa, Mozambique, Angola and Namibia must demand Mugabe steps down and Communism be implemented to prevent a civil war in Zimbabwe. The global debt crisis will cause Zimbabwe to collapse and lead to a revolution which the imperialists will manipulate into civil war, to justify their invasion which will be used to expand the World War against Socialism & Communism into Southern Africa. Your governments must also support the Communist forces loyal to Gbagbo in the inevitable civil war in Ivory Coast: a war which will draw in both the Socialist Congos, making all Socialist countries in Africa turn Communist. Revolutionary Kenyans, Zambians, Nigerians & Cameroonians & other Revolutionary forces must unite into the party of the International Jamahiriya Vth Communist International, to prepare for the Revolution to Unite Africa to defend Libya from NATO. If the Young Communist League united under this theory, then the South Africans Communist Party, the ANC Youth League, and the ANC itself would also unite under it, this will cause the Vth Communist International will be created and will ensure the success of the World Revolution.

      zaatheist - 2011-07-26 20:48

      Utter drivel

      Anton - 2011-07-26 23:20

      Muzi, Its ok, we all dream at times, of great things going to happen. When I was small, I wanted to be a pilot, that fruitcake from the North, wanted to be King....of Africa!!. And you make us all stupid, as with only 29000 words , you tell us how the world should be and we will all be happy and smiling. There is only one little problem with your theory, And that is, to make it work, ,,this,that,and that and this,, will have to happen. And you know what ? . ,,this,that and that and this,,, is NOT, going to happen. So let me suggest, to put your feet back on the ground, and accept the inevitable, that your hero, will take off on his horse into the sunset, with his tent !!!!! ps, just between you and me, where the heck did you find all this lunacy, I find it hard to believe that you thought of all this crap by yourself !!!!

      Anton - 2011-07-27 04:10

      Muzi, I just had to read your comments again. Hahahahahahahaha, you should go on stage, you will have the audience in stitches............................., You bring a bit of fun to African politics. But, for all this trouble, here a few comments; "must demand Mugabe steps down" With a bit of luck you won't have to demand anything...... Millions of Africans pray that one day soon , he will trip, and won't get up again. So that will be the end of this tyranny. "nationalize shops !!" Great idea, and than we will immediately cut those ridiculous prices. Looking forward buying a KFC drumstick for seven cents !!! The only African country you left out , is Lesotho That's not fair ! I am sure they also want to be part of this World Revolution !! I can hardly wait, this is going to be such fun. The end of boring politics !!!!! And lastly, Don't get too big headed with your 6 thumbs up. One is obvious from yourself. ( no problem, you deserve it ) Three come from readers, they don't even have to read anything, they just smell a pro Gaddafi comment, and you got a thumbs up. I must admit, that it are those other two, who worry me. And I hope that state security is watching them!!!!!!!!

      slg - 2011-07-28 04:10

      What's your point?

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