Updates on Libyan war: May 7: 38-Day NATO Air War: 5,510 Sorties, 2,204 Strike Sorties

7 May 2011 — Stop NATO

  • 38-Day NATO Air War: 5,510 Sorties, 2,204 Strike Sorties
  • Italy To Provide Weapons To Libyan Rebels Within Days
  • Britain And France Demand Gaddafi’s Ouster
  • Obama Thanks Kuwaiti Emir For Libyan, Military Support
  • African Union Presidents, Why Sit Silent On War Against Libya?

38-Day NATO Air War: 5,510 Sorties, 2,204 Strike Sorties


North Atlantic Treaty Organization

May 7, 2011

NATO and Libya

Air Operations

Since the beginning of the NATO operation (31 March 2011, 08.00GMT) a total of 5510 sorties, including 2204 strike sorties have been conducted.

Sorties conducted 06 May: 149

Strike sorties conducted 06 May: 56

Key Targets Hit

06 May: In the vicinity of Zintan: 3 Tanks.

In the vicinity of Tripoli: 8 Ammunition Storages.

In the vicinity of

Mizdah: 4 Ammunition Storages.

In the vicinity of Misurata: 1 Self-Propelled Artillery Piece, 1 Heavy

Equipment Transport, 8 Military Trucks, 1 Building hosting snipers.

In the vicinity of Sirte: 8 Ammunition Storages, 1 Command & Control Facility.

In the vicinity of Ras Lanuf: 1 Command & Control Facility. In the

vicinity of Brega: 4 Tanks, 5 Rocket Launchers.

Arms Embargo Activities

A total of 20 ships under NATO command are actively patrolling the Central Mediterranean.

12 Vessels were hailed on 06 May to determine destination and cargo. 1 boarding (no diversion) was conducted.

A total of 836 vessels have been hailed, 32 boardings and 5 diversions have been conducted since the beginning of arms embargo operations.


Italy To Provide Weapons To Libyan Rebels Within Days


Irish Times

May 7, 2011

Italy to send weapons to Libya, rebels claim


A senior Libyan opposition figure said yesterday that Italy has agreed to send weapons to the under-equipped rebel forces, in an apparent serious breach of the United Nations arms embargo.

If confirmed by Rome, the weapons shipments are likely to cause consternation at the UN where China and Russia have already expressed doubts about whether Nato is stretching the no-fly zone mandate.

Vice-president of the Transitional National Council, Abdul Hafeez Ghoga, said a deal has been agreed with the Italian government to provide weapons, which would be paid for from international donor funds pledged at a conference in the Italian capital earlier this week.

“Italy agreed to send us weapons and we will receive the weapons within days. We still have ongoing negotiations with France to send us arms too,” he said in an interview. “We will pay for the arms from the money we requested in Rome.”

[T]he UN resolution enforcing an arms embargo, passed in February, specifically states that no weapons, training or military equipment can be sent to Libya either for government or opposition forces, and a similar arms embargo has been agreed by the European Union.

A force of a dozen Nato ships is patrolling the Libyan coast to enforce the UN resolution. If Italy makes such a delivery it is likely to infuriate China and Russia, two Security Council nations that have already expressed concern that Nato’s bombing of Muammar Gadafy’s forces may go beyond the need to impose a no-fly zone to protect rebel civilians.

International donors may also object to Mr Ghoga’s insistence that the weapons will be paid for with money pledged as standby loans and assistance grants at the Rome conference.

The money has been clearly earmarked for humanitarian and economic uses and donors may seek to block any use of such finance for arms.

However, the US has already said there is room within the UN resolutions to send weapons to the rebels…In March US secretary of state Hillary Clinton said that the phrase “all necessary means” in the UN’s no-fly zone resolution in March meant that, notwithstanding the earlier arms embargo, there “could be a legitimate transfer of arms if a country should choose to do that”.

At the time her comments were echoed by British prime minister David Cameron, who said government lawyers were studying whether military assistance could be given without breaching the resolution. The UK has also said it has no plans to send such assistance.

A western diplomat said this week that there was concern that if the arms embargo was relaxed, Libya would be free to import weapons of its own, risking a further escalation of the war.


Britain And France Demand Gaddafi’s Ouster


Voice of Russia

May 7, 2011

Britain, France want more pressure on Gaddafi’s regime

The leaders of Britain and France have confirmed their intention to insist on stronger international pressure on the regime of Muammar Gaddafi, according to the statement of the administration of the British Prime Minister David Cameron published on Saturday.

On Friday, Cameron discussed the situation in Libya in a phone conversation with the French president Nicolas Sarkozy.

Both leaders stressed the need for Gaddafi’s resignation to ensure stability and peace in Libya.


Obama Thanks Kuwaiti Emir For Libyan, Military Support


Agence France-Presse

May 7, 2011

Obama talks Libya with Kuwait emir

WASHINGTON: US President Barack Obama thanked Kuwait’s emir for the oil-rich country’s “generous pledge” of $180 million to the Libyan opposition Transitional National Council.

Obama spoke by telephone to Sheikh Sabah al-Ahmad Al-Sabah and also thanked him for Kuwait’s “steadfast support” of US troops, the White House said in a statement.

“The president thanks the emir for Kuwait’s generous pledge of assistance to the Transitional National Council of Libya and stressed the importance of such financial support to the opposition given their urgent needs,” the statement said.

Kuwait on April 24 announced the pledge of “urgent humanitarian aid” to Libyan civilians, through the national council.

Meanwhile, world powers on Thursday agreed to tap Libyan leader Moamer Kadhafi’s frozen assets abroad to provide an emergency lifeline to the rebels. Kadhafi’s regime on Friday called the plan “piracy.”

The White House said Obama and Kuwait’s emir also “renewed their pledge to build on the historic ties between the United States and Kuwait.”


African Union Presidents, Why Sit Silent On War Against Libya?


Daily Guide (Ghana)

May 7, 2011

AU Presidents, Why Sit Silent?

By Apostle Kwamena Ahinful

-Shameless NATO destroys Africa’s Libya

-Why not present ceasefire bid to UN?

For President Muammar Ghaddafi’s Libya to be subjected to incessant air bombings from NATO air planes over a two months’ stretch is something that continues to baffle the minds of all right thinking people.

Why, it must be asked, why this senseless war in Libya? Why should planes of the NATO (North Atlantic Treaty Organisation, which consists of American and European soldiers) continue to rattle over Libyan skies, shooting cruise missiles and bombs to kill President Gaddafi’s soldiers and to raze some apartments of his house, instantly killing one of his sons and three grandchildren? Why?

And one cannot simply understand why all African Union members, led by their heads of state, continue to look on silently for this mayhem to be visited on their member state Libya, by white people of other continents!

Doesn’t Libya belong to the African Union which presupposes a more compact relationship bordering on consanguinity or blood-kinship such that an affront against one African member state is against all African states which should warrant their immediate response? The days of the OAU (Organisation of African Unity) are over, a period when African States AGREED TO FRATERNISE quite lightly on a periodic get-together basis, when talking and talking for closer relationship was the major leitmotif.

It was an organizational period preparing African states to, in future, form a more cohesive union in which each state saw herself to be in family ties with the others, not remaining indifferent to the woes of one another, but reacting appropriately to offer immediate help or relief or peace to the other. This is what the present name, AFRICAN UNION, must be seen to connote – a more compact sisterly affinity in which love for, and assistance to, one another should be practicalised.


But this is not what we see now with the so-called AFRICAN UNION. It appears most states consider the UNION to be mere UNITY which envisages a temporary relationship without any deep commitment for the welfare or safety of each other. If this is so, then it’s most unfortunate.

If indeed we have consigned ourselves to an AFRICAN UNION construction which is very close to AFRICAN UNITED STATES, then African presidents must wake up to uphold the ideals of the UNION and stop sleeping over the war being waged on Libya by NATO forces for no justifiable reasons. The basis of the war is childish. Some opposition elements in Libya say that they don’t want Gaddafi and his government to continue to ‘misrule’ Libya, so they must resign and be off the governance scene. They demonstrate.

And that’s permissible in a democratic state. But when the demonstration is: (a) being held every day to cause disturbance of the peace in the locality (b) waxing into violence when missiles (stones, cudgels, cutlasses, etc.) are hurled against the police who are using teargas to disperse the demonstrators, has the government no mandate or authority to defend itself or to put down the disturbing riots? Will the British, American, Italian or French government sit down unconcerned when some elements (ostensibly trained or organized to cause violence to overthrow that administration) begin to act to endanger the peace in that country?

Won’t it defend itself by clamping down on such violence? Then why is it that when President Gaddafi rose up to fight the criminal violence against his state, the Europeans and Americans considered it unheard-of, and immediately thought it their bounden duty to go to Libya to protect the innocent civilians whom Gaddafi ‘was killing through air attacks’? Are the whites political and military ‘protectors’ of revolting blacks? Who made them so?


Did the votes in the United Nations Security Council mandate the USA, Britain, Italy and France to quickly invade Libya to ostensibly protect the ‘unarmed civilian revolters’? When did it become justifiable for unapprehended and fighting revolters (openly seeking to overthrow a government) to be protected by the white men? Where is the cited case in history morally justifying such protection?

There is absolutely no justification for American, Italian and French forces to, in the name of NATO, send military aircraft to bomb buildings in Tripoli, Misurata, Benghazzi, etc., and to indiscriminately kill Libyans, thus causing further bloodshed. Why did the votes not mandate African countries to intervene diplomatically, and if possible, militarily?

The fact is that Libya has been a victim of these four nations – the USA, Italy, Britain and France – for over two centuries, all because of their yearning to exploit her oil wealth, coal and gas. In 1804, the United States invaded Libya, with a view to fighting an ongoing piracy, just it is as being carried on presently off the coast of Somalia in Africa. This turned out to be a medium through which the wealth of Libya was to be exploited.

In 1911, Italy invaded Libya on the pretentious reason of fighting Turkey which had earlier on declared war on the Sanussi Muslim sect formed in Libya and had considered it to be un-Islamic.

The Sanussi sect withstood Italy for 20 years until 1931 when its leader al-Mukhtar was executed, and that enabled Italy to gain full control over Libya. However, Idris, who was also a Sanussi Muslim, emerged later and having helped the British and the French in World War II, invited these two allies to Libya who divided that nation into British and French zones.

Nevertheless, in 1949, the UN declared independence for Libya under Idris who was later was sworn in as King. Contrary to expectations, Gaddafi, then a colonel in the army, overthrew King Idris on September 1, 1969 and revolutionized the nation, bringing rapid transformation and development in the country on socialist lines. Gaddafi’s ‘Green Book,’ which brought the ‘popular participation’ concept and a quick revolution in agricultural and oil production, soon made Libya a nation with the highest per capita income of over $4000 per year in Africa, thus making her the wealthiest nation on the continent.


Whilst at home Gaddafi has been hailed as the most popular and best leader, who has made several workers rich and comfortable (this is confirmed by Ghanaians returnees from Libya), his relations with Arab countries and the Europeans and Americans have turned sour day by day. His interactions with Egypt, Tunisia, Morocco and Saudi Arabia have not gone well; especially his opposition to Saudi Arabia and the Emirates for not helping him to resist ‘the pressures and manouevres of transnational corporation’ of the USA and Europe which are making oil prices go higher and higher, has not been taken kindly.

Therefore, one can see why the Arabs initiated in the UN the idea of ‘military protection of Libyan civilians’ which has invited NATO to wage an air war against Gaddafi. And one wonders whether Gaddafi will find it comfortable to remain in the Arab League again, whilst his military strength appears to have been betrayed and undercut by fellow Arabs.

Of course, the question of Egypt, Morocco, Tunisia, Libya, etc. indulging in ‘absolute bilateralism’ still remains an important issue to be mooted, a situation in which these aforementioned countries consider themselves as real Africans belonging to the AU and real Arabs belonging to the Arab League of the Middle East! Will Gaddafi want to be in the Arab Circle again, if the current war is over and he remains the President?

In 1986, Gaddafi was subjected to a US economic embargo (January) and on April 14 of the same year American warplanes invaded Libya and bombed Tripoli, the capital city, and Benghazzi, killing hundreds of people for nothing, except that Gaddafi was to be killed. It is therefore not amazing that under the pretext of saving Libyan civilians, NATO warplanes have bombed Gaddafi’s premises, the second attempt killing his relations. African presidents should quickly meet over this and issue a strong resolution backing Gaddafi, and calling for cessation of the ongoing war.

The resolution should be presented to the Security Council and the UN General Assembly. And diplomatic discussions should be held with Russia and China to use their veto power to stop the war to enable African nations to bring peace to Libya. African presidents, rise up to save your own pal, Gaddafi, and your sisterly nation, Libya! Rise up!

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