» The goal? To protect the people of Libya: At least that’s how the NATO Secretary-General explains it. ”This decision sends a clear message to the Gaddafi regime. We are determined to continue our operation to protect the people of Libya,” says Anders Fogh Rasmussen.
…we shot every one of them in the leg. … Then the officers took the girls upstairs, and we were told to go on the roof [to keep guard] until the officers had finished the rape and then we were told to rape the girls too.A 17-year-old member of Muammar Gaddafi’s forces, currently in opposition custody • Describing what he saw as a soldier. Andrew Harding of the BBC News, who wrote this article, makes the point that he isn’t positive whether the young man was telling the truth, considering the vested interest opposition forces might have in coercing him to portray his former colleagues in the worst possible light. That said, his remarks about what’s been happening in Misrata (through an interpreter) are harrowing. He describes being instructed to rape women, on threat of being beaten if they refused. He admits to committing a rape himself, and claims to have received about $8 reward for it. It’s a gruesome read, but worthy of being informed about. These are hardly the first reports of rape to come out of Libya in the midst of its civil war, but this new suggestion takes the brutality to new, horrible levels. source (via • follow)
» At long last: Gaddafi’s authorities have set Nigel Chandler, Manu Brabo, Claire Gillis and James Foley free — and authorities said that they may stay in the country if they wish (though journalistic professionalism aside, one could understand if they didn’t especially want to). Brabo, Gillis and Foley were all captured near Brega on April 5th. As for Chandler, however, who Libyan authorities believed worked with the BBC (they have since said they have no journalist in their employ by that name, and no other organization has claimed him), no location of his detainment is yet known. The four are now under consular care of Tripoli’s South African embassy.
The evidence showed that Gaddafi relied on his inner circle to implement a systematic policy of suppressing any challenge to his authority.Luis Moreno-Ocampo, an international war crimes court’s chief prosecutor • He wants to have Gaddafi arrested for crimes against humanity - namely firing on unarmed civillians. He went on, talking about how Gaddafi killed people in the streets and in their homes, using people in his family to help him enforce his rule. Moreno-Ocampo has been investigating this since the Libyan revolution was only three weeks old. Now a panel of judges will have to approve this request, though it doesn’t mean that Gaddafi’s arrest will come immediately. source (via • follow)
» The need is there: U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and other officials were in Rome, discussing ways to help the Libyan rebels continue their fight against Gaddafi. The rebel government says it needs about $3 billion to continue its push against Gaddafi and to pay for essential services for military forces. Clinton says the U.S. wants ”to tap some portion of those assets owned by Gadhafi and the Libyan government in the United States, so we can make those funds available to help the Libyan people.” Better them than Gaddafi, right?
Every week, every day we make new progress, hit important targets. But I’m not able to quantify the degree to which we have degraded Muammar Gaddafi’s military capabilities, but definitely it is much weaker now than when our operation started.NATO Secretary-General Anders Fogh Rasmussen • Noting that in the time NATO has tackled the Libyan crisis, they’ve successfully weakened the Gaddafi regime greatly. Now, he can’t quantify this, but he still said it! source (via • follow)
This was a direct operation to assassinate the leader of this country. This is not permitted by international law; it is not permitted by any moral code or principle.Libyan spokesperson Moussa Ibrahim • Expressing anger about the attack by NATO that killed members of Gaddafi’s family. “The leader with his wife was there in the house with other friends and relatives,” Ibrahim explained “The attack resulted in the martyrdom of brother Saif al-Arab Gadhafi, 29 year old and three of the leader’s grandchildren. The leader himself is in good health. He was not harmed.” NATO, by the way, says that they weren’t actively targeting any one person, but instead attacking based on links to the “systematic attacks on the Libyan population.” Whatever that means. source (via • follow)
Gaddafi’s regime has lost all credibility. The people of Libya cannot possibly envisage or accept a future Libya in which Gaddafi’s regime plays any role.Libyan Transitional National Council vice president Abdul Hafidh Ghoga • In a statement rejecting a conditional ceasefire and a spot at the negotiating table with that Gaddafi guy. While Gaddafi will not leave Libya, he seems ready to bargain: “We were the first to welcome a ceasefire and we were the first to accept a ceasefire … but the crusader NATO attack has not stopped,” Gaddafi said. Essentially, he really wants NATO to leave. source (via • follow)
» Who has the upper-hand? It appears that the rebels do, though it’s murky. Yesterday, some rebel forces in the city claimed it was “free” of pro-Gaddafi forces, but others claimed it might be a “trick” by to lull rebels into a false sense of security. Gaddafi forces claim to have laid down their arms to allow local tribes to settle their differences peacefully, but plan to arm the tribes if an agreement isn’t reached. Despite these claims, the violence rages on in dramatic fashion. And of course, there’s the wildcard — drone strikes.