Pressure mounts on Gaddafi to quit

2011-02-28 09:54

Nalut - Pressure mounted on Monday on Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi as anti-regime forces overran towns in his traditional western stronghold, after world leaders called on him to end his 41-year rule.

As top international diplomats gathered in Geneva for a meeting over the crisis, there were increasing signs the Libyan strongman's grip on power was slipping even further.

Protest leaders on Sunday established a transitional "national council" in several eastern and western cities seized from the Gaddafi regime and called on the army to help them take the capital Tripoli.

The United States said it was prepared to offer "any kind of assistance" to Libyans seeking to overthrow Gaddafi as his opponents piece together a transitional body comprising representatives from the liberated cities.

The unrest in the oil-rich North African state has set off a "humanitarian emergency", the UN refugee agency UNHCR said, as almost 100 000 migrant workers fled Libya in a mass exodus.

US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton echoed the calls of world leaders, including President Barack Obama and British Prime Minister David Cameron, for him to quit.

"We are just at the beginning of what will follow Gaddafi," she said.

"First we have to see the end of his regime and with no further bloodshed," she said, noting Washington was eager for his ouster "as soon as possible".

"We want him to leave."

Speaking ahead of the UN Human Rights Council meeting in Geneva, Clinton said she would meet many of her counterparts to craft humanitarian and political responses as Libyans try to "organise themselves post-Gaddafi".

Gaddafi family assets

At the weekend, the UN Security Council imposed a travel and assets ban on Gaddafi’s regime and ordered a probe into possible crimes against humanity after at least 1 000 people were killed in a crackdown by his forces.

London said it had frozen Gaddafi’s family assets in Britain, amid newspaper reports these amount to about £20bn in liquid assets, mostly in London.

Australia is investigating claims Gaddafi’s family has stashed millions of dollars in assets down under, Foreign Minister Kevin Rudd said on Monday. Canberra has launched a forensic probe to track down any assets the crumbling regime may have secretly built up in Australia.

A community organiser, Abdel Hafiz Ghoqa, told reporters in Benghazi on Sunday that a transitional "national council" had been set up in cities seized from the regime.

"The creation of a national council has been announced in all freed cities of Libya," he said.

The council is the "face of Libya in the transitional period", he said, adding consultations were under way on the body's composition and duties.

"The people of Libya will liberate their cities," Ghoqa said. "We are counting on the army to liberate Tripoli."

On Saturday, former justice minister Mustafa Abdel Jalil, who quit Gaddafi’s regime on February 21, said a transitional government would lead Libya for three months, before an election.

  • Goose - 2011-02-28 10:24

    For Libya's sake and other countries who have kicked out their dictators, I sincerely trust that decent, honest people take over so they don't end up in a worse situation.

  • ntgentse - 2011-02-28 10:35

    He must go......what's up with African Leaders not wanting to vacat the seats...they must learn from our Former President Mr. Thabo Mbeki...he is more respected after what he did when the ANC recalled him from his seat.

      Vrijheid - 2011-02-28 10:48

      It's different when your party recalls you opposed to when the people calls you to resign. The ANC will also sing a dictatorship song once the people call them to step down.

  • tshepotheterminator - 2011-02-28 10:39

    time to go old man... you served africa well but you lost the plot..... come to south africa, we will put you in a mansion in the western cape where you can die a rich old ugly man.

  • Nthuse - 2011-02-28 10:58

    thats the problem with the leadership of the elite,they have destroyed the wealth of our poor people to benefit themselves and their foreigh friends in the expence of poor people,now is time for african people to liberate themselves from this elite.Egytp citizens have set a precedent other african countries will follow.i would like to reffer our readers to Moeletsi Mbeki book"Architects of Poverty" see how African leader exploite our poor citizens.from Nthuse

  • Currie_Mafia - 2011-02-28 11:10

    41 frikken years...toooo long Gaddafi...Step down, while you can !!!

  • tlhox - 2011-02-28 12:29

    Its funny how when Gadaffi wins a battle the headlines say. Civilians killed with heavy machine guns. But when he loses, they are called anti-regime forces.

      Proffie - 2011-02-28 12:37

      A rose by any name.....

  • Modie - 2011-02-28 12:39

    The UN is a camp of old murderous men who hate peace ,they did murder saddam hussein ,and want 2 see gaddafi murdered ,after wards ly afganistan turning country men turning 2 each ,other like in Iraq,after that they want Iran they r not tired on the blood of innocent they do this to turn saints against their surbodinate, thanx be to God they fail in Zimbabwe .they alow demons to wragh havoc across peacefull nation,may the Lord save libbyia.they may also try to use peaple against the authority of God thank b to him at the end .the shame will be in their face amen

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