AlJ 25 March 00:02am
NATO has reached an agreement to enforce the no-fly zone over Libya, Secretary-General Anders Fogh Rasmussen tells reporters
The Daily Monitor, Uganda’s largest independent newspaper, reports that the European Union authorised the transfer of 265,000 euros to the African Union two days before the two sides, along with the United Nations and other bodies, were scheduled to meet in Addis Ababa to discuss Libya. (hat tip to Alex Thurston of Sahel Blog for pointing this out.)
The African Union has strongly criticised the international military intervention in Libya, while the European Union has supported it. The funding was announced in an EU statement on Wednesday and was provided through the African Peace Facility Early Response Mechanism – a four-year-old project that’s part of a 740 million-euro “conflict prevention” effort.
[Yet it is NOT ok for Gaddafi to pay supporters?]
24 March 8:53am
Libya’s fairly tight-lipped opposition national council has opened up, or at least one of its members has.
US-educated Ali Tarhouni, the newly appointed finance minister for the council, spoke with reporters last night and revealed that the rebel army consists of only around 1,000 trained men. (He apparently didn’t mention how many untrained volunteers are involved in the fighting.) Until now, the opposition has kept military details under wraps.
Tarhouni admitted shortcomings in the rebel’s pell-mell ascent to power in the east.
“There was a total vacuum,” he said.
Tarhouni also said the rebels don’t have a cash crisis, despite being cut off from Tripoli. Countries have agreed to give the rebels credit, including the United Kingdom, which will give $1.1 billion, he claimed.
[From the UK "treasury reserve" perchance? Bitching about Gaddafi bribing supporters yet here...]
24 March 7:37pm
Libyan rebels kill 30 government snipers in Misurata and manage to reach the centre of town, a rebel spokesman told Reuters news agency.
[How do they know they weren't CIA bought mercenaries? All very confusing. There is little truth and much propaganda, the press doing not much more than providing snapshots and echoing opinion of participants who can't be expected to be unbiased sources.]
24 March 9:32pm
There are no signs that Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi’s government is complying with UN Security Council demands for an immediate cease-fire, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said.
[It is not possible for a cease fire to be one sided.]
21 March 3:01pm
The head of Britain’s armed forces has told AFP news agency that Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi was “absolutely not” a target for military action.
General Sir David Richards, the chief of the defence staff, was speaking after British Foreign Secretary William Hague refused to rule out that air strikes could specifically target Gaddafi.
In an interview with BBC radio earlier, Hague declined to be drawn into the details of military targets.
24 March 12:03am
Al Jazeera’s Anita McNaught says there has been a series of “very big explosions” in the last hour. She says blasts were heard in “all sorts of directions” but in particular from the vicinity of Gaddafi’s compound. There were also reports of a strike on a military base in the district of Tajoura, she said.
“We are not at war”
AlJ 23 March 1:17pm
Al Jazeera’s Andrew Simmons, aboard the USS Kearsarge, says the aim of the Harrier jets aboard the ship is to help push Gaddafi’s troops back from their lines – not enforce a no-fly zone. He tells us:
“The rebels aren’t making much headway, so we’re seeing an escalation here.”
AlJ 21 March
NBC’s Richard Engel draws a distinction between the Libyan rebels and the protesters in Egypt and wonders whether the transitional national council in Benghazi would be recognised by the rest of the country:
[From msnbc transcript:
"It is a bit of a misnomer to describe them as democratic activist, not like the people in Egypt protesting for democratic reform, they are armed rebels trying to get here as quickly as possible to topple Gaddafi's regime. They do have a command structure in place, shadow gov't recognized by France. It's unclear if that government is strong enough to govern all of Libya, probably not. That is a government recognized in Benghazi but there are parts of western Libya that would be very skeptical of a Benghazi [gov't]
My questions. I need more than Cameron’s “believe me” as a reply.
What is the UK supporting exactly, an armed uprising, armed islamic insurgency or a US covertly sponsored minority coup attempt?
Is the intervention truly as the press reports or is it to rescue the almost failed coup (or whatever) attempt?
How many years have the CIA been active in promoting insurgency in Libya? (Was it to distract E. Libyans from attacking allies in Iraq?)
What is the evidence that Gaddafi has been targetting innocents rather than activist insurgents?
Who opened the arms dumps in E. Libya at the start of the uprising that was followed by the terrorising of E. Libyan civilians, blamed on Gaddafi?
Did French jets bomb hospitals at the onset of the war?
Are US paid mercenaries sniping civilians and insurgents?
Egypt supplied arms to the insurgents in contravention of the UN charter. Did the UK supply arms to Egypt for that purpose or did it buy arms from Egypt to be delivered to the insurgents?
Who supplied the former Libyan flags, uniforms and pre-made placards in English to the insurgents?
Would an islamic sharia government be better than the present people’s council?
Would a divided country be better than the former situation?
The present “opposition government” has trained forces of ~1000 men. Is that [a] a valid opposition [b] a valid government?
Is it true that in destroying Gaddafi’s government and infrastructure the country will be forced from it’s position as one with the healthiest and among the highest standards of living in Africa back to 3rd world status?
And to those who wonder, no I do not support Gaddafi’s methodology but neither do I support the war that the current action under the pretext of “a no fly zone and protecting civilians” gives every appearance of being. It has been said with justification that Libya is far from the top of the list of countries mistreating its citizens.
Updates and addendums
Fri, 25 Mar 2011 18:42:03 GMT
Conservative Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper has received a vote of no-confidence over "abuse of power" allegations, leading to the collapse of the government.
[...] Earlier this week, a parliamentary committee hit another blow to the government as it announced that the conservatives had hidden the full costs of a spending program from parliament and people.
"A government that breaks the rules and conceals facts from the Canadian people does not deserve to remain in office," Ignatieff noted.
The Liberals vowed to scrap $6.1 billion in corporate tax cuts and end extravagant multibillion-dollar plans to buy new fighter jets and build prison cells.
Libya says ready to accept AU mediation
Senior Libyan officials say the country's longtime ruler Muammar Gaddafi is ready to accept an African Union-mediated political solution to the unfolding crisis in the country.
"We are ready to implement the Road Map envisaged [by] the High-Level Committee mandated by the Peace and Security Council of the African Union," the Libyan delegation to AU talks said in a statement in Addis Ababa on Friday.
This comes after the African leaders gathered in the Ethiopian capital to discuss the ongoing Libyan crisis.
Gaddafi had also dispatched a high-level delegation to join the African Union talks.
The talks also included EU, UN and Arab League representatives.
Press TV http://previous.presstv.ir/det...
Maamoun Al-Homsi,a leading Syrian opposition figure, called on the international community to intervene to stop "the massacres against civilians by President Bashar al-Assad's regime" in protests across Syria.
"There are killed and wounded and those who are arrested in all the provinces," he told Reuters by telephone from Canada, referring to protests that spread beyond the southern town of Daraa on Friday challenging Assad's rule.
[A proper job for Dave and The Crusaders and the UN rubber stampers?]
TUC March march is tomorrow
Rumours that police protesting redundancies will join the march are not yet substantiated. :)
All welcome except troublemakers.
Stagger your arrival times:
The march assembles from 11am, but it will still be leaving at 2pm and possibly even later. Londoners might want to arrive later on. It’ll reduce your waiting times on the Embankment, as well as letting colleagues who’ve come the furthest distances to more easily get to their early coaches home.
Arrive from the rear of the march:
The front of the march will be forming up from Embankment tube, but unless you are coming very early, please use stations further back as when the Embankment is full we will need to route people to the rear via side streets. So think stations like Southwark, Mansion House, Bank and Farringdon. There is detailed advice on our website.
The form up in particular will take some time. People arriving at the assembly area from side-streets and across bridges may have to queue to join the march. So if you need to wait, this is simply because the assembly area is full.
Follow @march26march on Twitter:
for our official information on where to join the march and what is going on. We’re going to be using the hashtag #26march, so please do share your photos and tweets with us – we’d love to see them!
The Egyptian cabinet approved yesterday a decree-law that criminalises strikes, protests, demonstrations and sit-ins that interrupt private or state owned businesses or affect the economy in any way.
Protests spread to Belgium...
I didn't ask - do only armed forces work in artillery factories?
Con Coughlin wrote-
Yemen and Syria pose a greater threat to us than Libya
Unlike Libya, both countries pose an active and current threat to our everyday well-being.
I fully concede that Muammar Gaddafi and his dysfunctional family should be removed from power at the earliest opportunity. But these days they can hardly be said to pose a serious threat to our security, having surrendered their investment in nuclear proliferation and international terrorism many years ago.
But the same cannot be said for Syria and Yemen, two countries that, in their different ways, pose an active and current threat to our everyday well-being.
Iran's hand is strongly suggested to be supportive in Syria and Yemen in more ways than mere words. That suggests it may be supporting the Libyan insurgency with arms as with Afghanistan and perhaps even with military.
In the Israeli gov''ts situation I would be trying to avoid giving the Palestinians and Lebanese justification to fire rockets and putting an end to settlement building work to reduce the number of reasons the islamics will have to attack them.
An unsettling thought is if the "liberated" countries form a centrally controlled union.
[Syrians are dying for their cause]
88.55 The Syrian government has claimed that the protesters killed by security forces in Deraa this week were insurgents. @BBCWORLD has tweeted:
Twitter - Adviser to #Syrian President Assad tells BBC 34 killed in #Deraa protests by ´armed fundamentalists'
[Yemenians are ramping up the protests]
08.57 Yemeni forces are trying to prevent anti-government protesters from reaching the capital Sanaa, witnesses have told AP. The troops are manning checkpoints on roads leading to Sanaa, trying to identify protesters. Demonstrators are trying to gather a million people today to demand the departure of Yemen's ruler of three decades, Ali Abdullah Saleh. Last Friday, security forces opened fire on demonstrators, killing more than 40.
09.23 Hundreds of thousands of rival demonstrators have gathered for separate rallies in Yemen's capital, AFP has reported. Anti-regime protesters poured into a square near Sanaa University where they have been camped since February 21, as regime loyalists crowded a nearby square in response to a call from the longtime president. The army and opposition activists set up separate checkpoints at entrances the square near the university, searching people entering and leaving the epicentre of the revolt against Saleh's three-decade rule.
[While the Libyan insurgents are stalemated, more evidence of war rather than "protecting civilians"]
09.14 French and British warplanes attacked Libyan targets overnight near the town of Ajdabiya as part of coordinated strikes against Gaddafi's forces. France's army chief of staff, Adm Edouard Guillaud, said a strike had destroyed an artillery factory. Ajdabiya has been under siege for more than a week, with the rebels holding the city center under shelling from government troops positioned on the outskirts.
Guillard also said that French forces destroyed a military base, a munitions depot and maintenance facilities inside Libya on Thursday, AP reported.
The paranoid Israeli gov't must be freaking out the way this is spreading. If it all comes to pass as in Egypt Israel will be surrounded by islamic sharia governments.
Syria, also see:
If the Yemen blog is updated to today I'll post a link.