Hoe was het ook weer? Op 1 mei serveerden wij voor het eerst het bericht dat het voetvolk van Khadaffi viagra bij het ontbijt kreeg om wat later op de dag willekeurige dames een DSK-beurt te geven (1).
Het nut daarvan? De burgerbevolking onder de duim houden met komkommerterreur.
Deze fruitige informatie was afkomstig van ene Susan Rice, de Amerikaanse Mien Dobbelsteen bij de VN. Bewijzen had ze niet, dus Washington slikte het bericht schielijk weer in.
Wat denk je wat er gisteren gebeurt? Komt Luis Moreno-Ocampo, de hoofdbef bij het in de ganzenpas van Washington lopende Internationale Gerechtshof in Den Haag, met een verklaring die niet zou misstaan in de oratie van een stand-up comedian.
Hij overweegt namelijk om Khadaffi, diens zoon Saif en diens 001-smurf Al-Sanussi niet alleen te vervolgen voor misdaden tegen de menselijkheid etcetera, maar ook voor het onvrijwillig hopsen van dames door zijn troepen. Voor dat laatste zou de man van de gouden standaard ... viagra hebben uitgedeeld. Althans een equivalent daarvan, want je kan natuurlijk moeilijk de keurige Amerikaanse firma Pfister bij deze discussie betrekken.
Moreno-Ocampo's beweringen steunen op de verklaringen van getuigen, die zelfs de import van containers vol erectie zouden hebben aanschouwd.
En het kan vandaag niet op. Een Britse official liet tijdens een ijzersterke conference weten, dat de NATO niet zou aarzelen om de Mad Maxen uit Benghazi op een lading lood te trakteren als ze doorgaan met het terroriseren en martelen van burgers. Hij kreeg boe uit Benghazi, maar van ons krijgt ie de publieksprijs voor zijn waanzinnig komische optreden. Carry on.
Libya-Owned Bank Got 73 Loans From Fed Window After Lehman April 01, 2011, 12:53 PM EDT By Donal Griffin and Bob Ivry
(Updates with statement from Arab Banking Corp. starting in seventh paragraph. See EXT5 <GO> for stories on discount-window data.)
April 1 (Bloomberg) -- Arab Banking Corp., the lender part- owned by the Central Bank of Libya, used a New York branch to get 73 loans from the U.S. Federal Reserve in the 18 months after Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc. collapsed.
The bank, then 29 percent-owned by the Libyan state, had aggregate borrowings in that period of $35 billion -- while the largest single loan amount outstanding was $1.2 billion in July 2009, according to Fed data released yesterday. In October 2008, when lending to financial institutions by the central bank’s so- called discount window peaked at $111 billion, Arab Banking took repeated loans totaling more than $2 billion.
Fed officials say all the discount window loans made during the worst financial crisis since the 1930s have been repaid with interest.
The U.S. government has frozen assets linked to the regime of Libyan ruler Muammar Qaddafi and engaged in air strikes against his military forces, which are battling a rebel uprising in the North African country. Arab Banking got an exemption that allows the firm to continue operating while barring it from engaging in any transactions with the Libyan government, according to the U.S. Treasury Department.
“It is incomprehensible to me that while creditworthy small businesses in Vermont and throughout the country could not receive affordable loans, the Federal Reserve was providing tens of billions of dollars in credit to a bank that is substantially owned by the Central Bank of Libya,” Senator Bernard Sanders of Vermont, an independent who caucuses with Democrats, wrote in a letter to Fed and U.S. officials.
The letter was addressed to Fed Chairman Ben S. Bernanke, Treasury Secretary Timothy F. Geithner and John Walsh, acting comptroller of the currency. The figure refers to the aggregate amount of loans the bank received under U.S. lending programs. Arab Banking, known as ABC, owed about $4 billion to the Fed under other bailout programs in the fall of 2009, data released in December show.
“ABC has a robust balance sheet, is amply capitalized and currently maintains a comfortable liquidity position,” the company said in an e-mailed statement. “ABC currently has no outstanding loans under any Federal Reserve, or other, emergency lending program.”
Jack Gutt, a spokesman for the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, declined to comment. Arab Banking said Dec. 2 that Libya’s stake in the Manama, Bahrain-based lender had increased to 59 percent.
“There was an uneasy detente between the United States and Libya” when the loans were made, said William Poole, senior economic adviser to Merk Investments LLC and a former president of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis. “It would not happen in the morning.”
The New York branch, on Park Avenue in midtown Manhattan, deals mainly in trade finance, according to its website. David Siegel is the branch’s treasurer. The bank’s chairman is Mohammed Husain Layas, chief executive officer of the Libyan Investment Authority. The CEO is Bahrain-based Hassan Ali Juma.
“ABC’s New York branch conducts wholesale business and plays an important role in helping U.S. companies conduct business in the Middle East,” the company said in the statement. “The New York branch of ABC also participates in enhancing the liquidity of U.S. markets and virtually all of its employees are U.S. citizens.”
Arab Banking reported a loss of $880 million in 2008 as it took a $1.1 billion charge tied to structured investment vehicles and derivative products known as collateralized debt obligations. Arab Banking recovered during the next two years, posting profits totaling $265 million.
Libya previously shared the bank with the Abu Dhabi Investment Authority and the Kuwait Investment Authority, both sovereign investment funds. The Libyan Central Bank bought out the Abu Dhabi stake in 2010 and took majority control, which prompted Fitch Ratings in December to downgrade Arab Banking’s credit rating.
In March, after the U.S. froze Libya’s assets, Fitch downgraded the bank’s credit rating again, this time to “junk” status. Contracts to protect Arab Banking’s debt, which typically rise as investor confidence deteriorates, increased by 186 basis points to 500 during March. A basis point equals $1,000 annually on a contract protecting $10 million of debt.
“Nobody knows how the situation in Libya is going to work out finally and who will ultimately be in charge and obviously who will be running institutions like the central bank,” Philip Smith, a London-based Fitch analyst, said in a phone interview.
Under the asset freeze, the bank has been prevented from conducting transactions with the Qaddafi regime and can thus continue trading with other customers as usual, Smith said.
Arab Banking “has a policy of complying with all applicable sanctions regimes and has conducted, and will continue to conduct, its dealings in strict and total compliance with all relevant laws and regulations,” the company said in the statement.
The bank listed deposits of $17.5 billion at the end of 2010. According to a report from the Fitch Ratings firm, the Libyan Central Bank places “sizeable deposits” with the lender. Marti Adams, a spokeswoman for the Department of Treasury, declined to comment on whether Arab Banking is holding any frozen Libyan assets.
“It is today escaping the economic sanctions imposed to hobble Muammar Qaddafi’s brutal regime,” Sanders said in his letter. “Why would the U.S. government exempt the Arab Banking Corporation from economic sanctions when it is primarily owned by the Central Bank of Libya?”
Bloomberg News has posted the Fed documents for Bloomberg Professional Service subscribers, as well as online at www.bloomberg.com.
ABU DHABI, United Arab Emirates — Western and Middle Eastern countries began opening the aid spigots Thursday for Libya’s beleaguered rebels, approving measures that will immediately send at least $1 billion to the opposition and promising much larger sums in the weeks ahead.
The cash infusion came as the Obama administration took a step toward officially recognizing Libya’s main rebel group, with the State Department declaring the Transitional National Council (TNC) “the legitimate interlocutor” for the Libyan people, even as Libyan leader Moammar Gaddafi clung to power.
Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, addressing a meeting of representatives from nearly three dozen countries and international organizations supporting the rebels, vowed to gradually increase economic and military pressure on Gaddafi until he relents, clearing the way for a democratically elected Libyan government.
“Gaddafi must know that he cannot wait us out,” Clinton told a gathering of diplomats at the Libyan Contact Group meeting in Abu Dhabi. “There is no going back to the way things were. He must go, and the transition to a unified, democratic Libya must begin.”
Clinton said talks are underway with the rebel council on how to navigate the transition to a new government after Gaddafi departs, signaling increased confidence among Western officials that the autocratic leader’s time is running out.
“We expect to see Libyans coming together to plan their own future and a permanent, inclusive, constitutional system that will protect the rights of all Libyans,” Clinton said. She said the talks with the rebel group included discussions about “what more they would need once the transition occurs,” but she added, “There is not any clear way forward yet.”
The contact group, meeting for the third time since the start of the NATO-led air campaign against Gaddafi’s forces, achieved a significant breakthrough in approving a temporary funding mechanism that gives countries legal cover for providing cash to the rebel council. Shortly after the measure was adopted, Kuwait and Qatar said they would immediately deposit a combined sum of nearly $300 million into the rebels’ accounts.
France, Italy and Turkey also announced substantial new aid packages for the rebels, while U.S. officials said they expected Congress to quickly pass a bipartisan bill authorizing the release to the rebels of Libyan government assets currently frozen in U.S. bank accounts. The United States and Britain say they have been constrained by property laws from turning over Libyan money to a rebel movement that lacks legal standing as the legitimate government of Libya.
“Altogether, you start to see a growing amount of financial support that’s going to the TNC,” said a senior State Department official who participated in international discussions on aid to Libya. Clinton separately announced $26.6 million in humanitarian aid for Libyans.
The new pledges came hours after a senior TNC official made an impassioned appeal for international assistance, telling reporters, “Our people are dying.”
“If no concrete financial support comes out of this conference, we will consider it a total failure,” the rebels’ economics minister, Ali Tarhouni, said as contact group ministers met in private rooms in the palm-fringed Emirates Palace Hotel. “We are a proud people, and we are not begging. This is our money we are asking for.”
Despite shortages of cash and weapons, the rebels have enjoyed modest military success in recent weeks with the backing of NATO warplanes and helicopters. U.S. officials say Gaddafi’s military forces have been significantly weakened by the continued air assaults and a steady stream of defections by senior military and civilian government officials.
Still, Gaddafi has remained defiant, telling supporters in a broadcast statement that he preferred death to forced exile. Loyalist forces launched new artillery strikes Wednesday against Misurata, a town recently claimed by rebels, and his government lashed out against a report by an International Criminal Court prosecutor that Gaddafi’s troops had been ordered to rape women in rebel-dominated towns.
“It’s the same old nonsense,” government spokesman Moussa Ibrahim said of the rape allegations. “We have always asked, time and again, for people to come in on the ground and investigate. These are old accusations against us.”
Yet there were signs that Gaddafi’s grasp on power has weakened further in recent days. Australian Foreign Minister Kevin Rudd, speaking to reporters at the conclusion of the Abu Dhabi meeting, said the consensus view among the participants was that the dictator’s days were numbered.
“It is no longer an academic proposition, but a real proposition,” Rudd said, “and it may be sooner than many people in this room might think.”
Correspondent Simon Denyer in Tripoli, Libya, contributed to this report.
AMSTERDAM - De Libische leider Muammar Kaddafi zou bereid zijn verkiezingen in zijn land uit te schrijven die door internationale waarnemers worden gecontroleerd.
Dat zegt Kaddafi’s tweede zoon Saif al-Islam donderdag in een interview met de Italiaanse krant Corriere della Sera. Verkiezingen zijn volgens hem voor Libië "de enige pijnloze manier om uit de impasse te komen".
Volgens de zoon is Muammar Kaddafi bereid af te treden wanneer hij de verkiezingen verliest, maar weigert hij in ballingschap te gaan.
Saif al-Islam zegt dat het regime open staat voor een internationaal toezicht op de verkiezingen, die wat hem betreft binnen drie maanden zouden kunnen plaatsvinden, door organen als de Europese Unie, de Afrikaanse Unie, de Verenigde Naties of zelfs door de NAVO, het militaire bondgenootschap dat momenteel een militaire interventie in Libië leidt.
“Het belangrijkste is dat de verkiezingen zuiver verlopen en dat fraude wordt uitgesloten”, aldus de zoon van de omstreden Libische dictator.
Kaddafi's tweede zoon Saif al-Islam I Foto:AFP
Saif al-Islam herhaalt in het interview de boodschap die ook zijn vader al meermaals verkondigde, namelijk dat Kaddafi er niet over peinst om Libië te verlaten. “Hij is hier geboren en wil hier sterven”, aldus Kaddafi-junior.
Over de afloop van de mogelijke verkiezingen maakt Saif al-Islam zich geen zorgen. “Ik twijfel er niet aan dat de overgrote meerderheid van de Libiërs achter mijn vader staat en de rebellen zien als Islamitische fundamentalisten die worden opgejut door het buitenland en als huurlingen de orders opvolgen van Sarkozy (Franse president, red.).”
Saïf al-Islam Kaddafi is politicus en werd algemeen gezien als de beoogde opvolger van Muammar Kaddafi. Sinds de onrust in Libïe trad hij al diverse keren op als spreekbuis van zijn vader.
Sinds de betogingen tegen het autoritaire regime van Kaddafi in februari losbarstten en door regeringstroepen met harde hand de kop werden ingedrukt, verkeert Libië in een impasse.
De opstand mondde uit in een burgeroorlog tussen rebellen en troepen die loyaal zijn aan de leider. Sinds maart voert een internationale coalitie geleid door de NAVO een militaire interventie uit in het land. Er wordt, onder meer met medewerking van Nederland, een wapenembargo en een vliegverbod gehanteerd.
Verder bestookt de NAVO vanuit de lucht militaire doelen in diverse Libische steden. In de nacht van woensdag op donderdag lag de hoofdstad Tripoli opnieuw onder vuur. Het omvangrijke hoofdkwartier van Kaddafi was voor de zoveelste keer een doelwit van de luchtaanvallen.
Ondertussen gaat ook het geweld op de grond tussen rebellen en Kaddafi-getrouwen voort. In diverse steden vinden gevechten plaats. Met name de strategisch gelegen westelijke havenstad Misurata wordt al weken zwaarbevochten.
Deze week wordt, voor zover bekend, voor het eerst ook gevochten in het uiterste westen en het veel dunner bevolkte zuiden van Libië, dat lange tijd stevig op de hand van Kaddafi leek. Zo kwamen er zondag meldingen van onrust in de stad Sabha.
Volgens de meest recente schatting van de VN-mensenrechtenraad heeft de opstand in Libië inmiddels aan 10.000 tot 15.000 mensen het leven gekost.
Zimbabwe and Algeria sending troops to support Gaddafi in Libya war
The Libyan conflict has now been on-going for more than three months and Gaddafi has once again proved his resilience, holding onto power despite the leaders of the free world demanding he leave. When the Nato operation started in March most observers did not expect the Colonel to be able to hang on to power for so long.
However as the conflict between Libyan forces and the rebel movement reached stalemate, the alliance was forced to up its game and has since then increased its bombing campaign. With strict sanctions imposed against the country, most of his assets frozen and many of his top government officials defecting, how does Gaddafi still manage to hang on to power?
While the Colonel certainly has a lot of enemies it seems some of his very few friends are extremely loyal as since the conflict started many reports of Zimbabwean and Algerian soldiers fighting for his regime have emerged.
While in February the media focused on the rebels and allegations from Gaddafi's former Chief of Protocol Nouri Al Misrahia that the leader was using mercenaries from Kenya, Chad, Niger and Mali against his own people after losing control of the Libyan army, other reports suggested that while the mercenaries might have represented a very small part of Gaddafi's forces, the governments of Algeria, Zimbabwe and even South Africa were actively helping the leader.
Following the accusation against Zimbabwe, in March Zimbabwean MP Innocent Gonese, asked, the Defence Minister Emmerson Mnangagwa during a parliamentary session to respond to reports that soldiers from Zimbabwe are involved. The minister then replied "...that there are mercenaries who are African and are in Libya - I have no mandate in my duty as Minister of Defence to investigate activities happening in another African country" before confusedly advising the Zimbabwean MP to "direct his question to the Foreign Affairs Ministry, who might also enquire through foreign relations if there are any African countries participating there."
It would not be the first time that Mugabe sent Zimbabwean militia's without prior consultation as in 1997 the country's troops were sent to the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) to help Laurent Kabila against rebels backed by Rwanda and Uganda. Zimbabwe is also tipped as the favourite exile destination if Gaddafi ever decides to leave the country as President Robert Mugabe is the Libyan leader's closest ally in Africa. Over the years Gaddafi was said to have showered his counterpart with donations and subsidised oil shipments and in late 2010, Mugabe's party Zanu PF received hundreds of tractors and much farming equipment from Libya to use in election campaigns.
Also backing the reports, in March the Zimbabwean Mail stated that according to sources from the Zimbabwean military intelligence, "The Zimbabwe National Army and its Air force are heavily involved in the fierce battles between forces loyal to Colonel Muammar Gaddafi and the rebel's forces."
It also announced that "Libyan government soldiers backed by Zimbabwean troops battled rebels on the road to the insurgent stronghold of Benghazi as the United States raised the possibility of air strikes to stop Muammar Gaddafi's forces.
The sources in Harare also revealed that the President Mugabe has deployed over 500 troops in Libya to back his long-time ally Colonel Muammar Gaddafi." The newspaper claims."
At the same time reports also surfaced about Algeria's involvement in the conflict and its support of the Gaddafi regime. While Algeria has always been very vocal about being concerned by western imperialism on the continent, the alleged alliance came as a surprise, especially as President Bouteflika's government has cooperated for years with the US and Nato on its North Africa and Sub-Saharan anti-terrorist policies.
The accusations first emerged when an Algerian human rights group based in Germany, Algeria Watch, published a statement alleging that the Algerian government is providing material aid, in the form of armed military units to Gaddafi to help prop up his regime.Their statement read:
"It is with both sadness and anger that we have learned that the Algerian government has sent armed detachments to Libya to commit crimes against our Libyan brothers and sisters who have risen up against the bloody and corrupt regime of Muammar Kadhafi. These armed detachments were first identified in western Libya in the city of Zaouia where some among them have been arrested. This has been reported in the media and confirmed by eye witnesses."
Algeria Watch also accused the Algerian government of having provided the air transport planes that have carried sub-Saharan African mercenaries from Niger, Chad and Darfur to Libya.
Following the allegations, Algerian observers claimed that both countries might have tries to plan a common oil embargo, which would have, as they both are important oil exporters in the continent, sent the oil prices up. The plan could not come to fruition however as the rebel movement soon acquired control over the National Oil Company and the Central Bank of Libya.
In Uganda, in April there were also reports that some troops of the UPDF, the President Yoweri Museveni's party had been sent to the country.
However the claims were rubbished by Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Okello Oryem who added that there was no need for Ugandan forces to go to Libya as Uganda had not been requested to contribute fighting troops. Since then, President Museveni has however invited the Libyan leader to come to Uganda if he ever decided to leave Libya.
Finally, South Africa was accused to have contributed to the conflict by selling arms to the Libyan regime in late 2010, at a time where tensions in the country were already said to be rising. David Maynier of the Democratic Alliance said the DA understood that "more than 100 sniper rifles and more than 50,000 rounds of ammunition may have been exported to Libya in late 2010".
Apparently, other weapons systems sold appeared to include 40mm multiple grenade launchers, Hercules C130 aircraft, and armoured personnel carriers, he added.
While the Justice Minister and National Conventional Arms Control Committee chairman Jeff Radebe defended that while. "Some in the media or through the use of media as a platform have been quick to conclude that the deaths that have been reported in Libya during the period of political unrest have a direct link with the arms sold by the South African companies to Libya. There is no evidence available to back up such a claim", the transaction still remained illegal as South Africa has a legal obligation not to trade in conventional arms with states engaged in repression, aggression or terrorism.
The use of mercenaries might have been a clever cover up to attract the media's attention and hide seedier alliances between Libya and other African countries. Most of the reports emerged between February and April, and since then not much has been said on the subject. It seems however obvious that Gaddafi cannot have stayed in power for so long without any help coming from outside. Maybe then, the Colonel is not so lonely after all.
This article is copyrighted by IBTimes.co.uk, the business news leader
WASHINGTON - De Amerikaanse minister van Buitenlandse Zaken Hillary Clinton heeft de Libische leider Muammar Kaddafi ervan beschuldigd verkrachting en geweld tegen vrouwen te gebruiken als instrumenten van oorlog.
De bewindsvrouw bracht dit donderdag (lokale tijd) naar buiten in een verklaring.
Clinton zei dat de Verenigde Staten ''diep bezorgd'' zijn over berichten van wijdverbreide verkrachtingen in Libië.
Volgens de minister proberen de veiligheidstroepen van Kaddafi verdeeldheid te zaaien onder het volk door geweld te gebruiken tegen vrouwen.
Ook is Clinton verontrust over meldingen dat regeringen in het het Midden-Oosten en Noord-Afrika seksueel geweld toepassen om betogers te straffen.
''Verkrachting, seksuele intimidatie en zelfs zogenoemde maagdelijkheidstesten hebben plaatsgevonden in landen in de hele regio'', aldus de minister.
Hoofdaanklager van het Internationaal Strafhof Luis Moreno-Ocampo maakte eerder deze maand al bekend dat onderzoekers bewijs zeggen te hebben dat Kaddafi opdracht gaf tot massaverkrachtingen. Het regime zou containers vol Viagra-achtige sekspillen hebben gekocht voor zijn militairen om vrouwen aan te vallen.
''Verkrachting is een nieuw middel voor zijn onderdrukking'', aldus de hoofdaanklager.
De verdenking werd door Libië vrijwel onmiddellijk weersproken. Een regeringswoordvoerder zei dat de Libische regering "het slachtoffer is van wijdverspreide agressie".
Ik blijf er bij dat ze QadaFFi in een kwaad daglicht zetten om hem uit de weg te kunnen ruimen! Natuurlijk zal het niet allemaal super fantastisch über-netjes en goed zijn wat daar allemaal is gebeurd door de jaren heen, maar dat is in Nederland niet anders... Alleen worden dergelijke zaken hier onder het vloerkleed geveegd...
Ze moeten gewoon van hem af en dat doen ze dus zo...
At least 12 people were killed and two injured when a NATO air strike hit a bus Wednesday evening in Libya's Kikla city, 120 km southwest of capital Tripoli, Libyan state TV reported. The air strike hit the bus at the entrance of the city in the mountainous region southwest of Tripoli, Xinhua cited
the TV report quoting military sources as saying.
During the past several weeks, NATO forces have intensified strikes against Tripoli and the neighbouring areas.
The city has been the focus of fights between the forces of embattled Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi and the rebels against his 42-year rule.
NATO took over full command and control of military operations against Libya from the US March 31, following the UN Security Council resolution, which called for imposing a no-fly zone over Libya and authorised "all necessary measures" to protect civilians in Libya.
Russia's special envoy, Mikhail Margelov, meets with government officials in Tripoli, but there is no progress on the key sticking point – Moammar Kadafi's future. Officials insist he will remain in the country; rebels say they will not talk until he leaves.
Russian envoy Mikhail Margelov returns to his car after a guided tour by Libyan officials to a Tripoli hotel they said was destroyed in a NATO airstrike. The hotel was unoccupied. (Mohamed Messara, European Pressphoto Agency / June 17, 2011)
Reporting from Tripoli, Libya—
A Russian envoy's trip to the Libyan capital Thursday yielded no major breakthroughs amid escalating international efforts to end the four-month-long crisis in Libya.
Both Mikhail Margelov, Russia's special envoy to Africa, and Libyan Prime Minister Baghdadi Ali Mahmudi said the major issue — the future of Moammar Kadafi — remained unresolved.
Kadafi "is not prepared to go," Margelov said he was told by Libyan officials, according to the Russian Interfax news agency.
Later, Mahmudi repeatedly made the same point — that Kadafi has no intention of leaving Libya — during an almost two-hour news conference with foreign journalists. He labeled attempts to force Kadafi's departure a "red line" that cannot be crossed.
"Moammar Kadafi is a symbol of this country, and we don't accept anything that may be done against him," the Libyan prime minister said.
The future role of Kadafi, 69, who has ruled Libya for almost 42 years, has been the central issue of contention since the Libyan uprising began in February.
Western-backed rebels have insisted that Kadafi and his family must leave Libya before proper peace talks can begin.
Margelov met with senior Libyan ministers but not with Kadafi, Russian media reported. Moscow has said Kadafi must go, but it has also criticized NATO airstrikes. The envoy's visit to Tripoli follows a meeting last week with rebel leaders in Benghazi.
The Libyan government has said Kadafi is willing to cede all executive power to a government chosen by the Libyan people under a new constitution. Kadafi's son, Seif Islam, told an Italian newspaper this week that internationally supervised elections could be held in three months as part of a transition toward democracy.
However, under the government plan, Kadafi or his relatives could not be banned from seeking office, said Musa Ibrahim, chief government spokesman.
Rebels say it is preposterous to believe that Libya's longtime dictator would ever really cede power. The opposition Transitional National Council, based in Benghazi, insists that Kadafi's exit — or his arrest on charges of human rights abuses — is necessary to achieve reconciliation and establish a democratic government.
"Kadafi and his family must leave the country," Guma el-Gamaty, a Britain-based spokesman for the rebel council, said in a telephone interview. "If he stays in the country somewhere, he will always wield power through a shadow network."
The rebel official called the suggestion by Kadafi's son for elections a stalling tactic. "They know the end is near, and they're trying to buy time," he said.
El-Gamaty denied a report by the Russian envoy that rebel representatives have had "direct contacts" with Libyan government officials.
Russia is one of a number of nations that have attempted to broker peace in Libya, where almost four months of fighting have left thousands dead and divided the country. Rebels, backed by Western air power, control much of eastern Libya; Kadafi still controls the capital and much of the west.
The Libyan government has backed an African-crafted peace plan that would institute a cease-fire and allow Kadafi to remain in the country. The rebels have rejected the plan.
Meanwhile, China and Russia issued a joint statement calling for the "strict observance" of the United Nations Security Council resolutions that provided the legal basis for the North Atlantic Treaty Organization-led bombing campaign in Libya. NATO says it is determined to continue its current strategy despite the faltering contributions of some member nations and internal differences.
The NATO bombing runs continued Thursday over Tripoli, where authorities took journalists to a hotel that officials said was destroyed in a NATO strike. The hotel was unoccupied at the time and no one was injured, the manager said.
Among those viewing the twisted hotel wreckage near the Mediterranean seafront was the Russian envoy, Margelov, who arrived with a coterie of bodyguards armed with AK-47 assault rifles. He took a quick look at the rubble and marched back to his silver BMW sedan.
"Because there were no foreign reporters there, the hotel was bombed," Mahmudi, the Libyan prime minister, later told foreign journalists, who are gathered in a single hotel in Tripoli.
Authorities here say a NATO attack Wednesday struck a bus in the town of Kiklah, southwest of the capital, killing 12 civilians. There was no immediate word from NATO on the allegation.
At least 16 Libyan revolutionaries have been injured in a NATO strike on their position near the town of Ajdabiyah in the east of the country, a report says.
Farag al-Moghraby, a spokesman for the Libyan revolutionary forces, said the assault took place near the village of Amreer Gabs, about 30 km northwest of Ajdabiyah, Reuters reported on Friday.
Ajdabiyah is a key town just west of the revolutionaries' stronghold of Benghazi in northeastern Libya.
Moghraby added that the attack was most probably “a NATO airstrike that had mistakenly hit that location."
“We are investigating where the airstrike came from, whether it's NATO or Gaddafi forces,” he went on to say.
According to media reports, Libyan revolutionary forces recently made fresh gains against the regime forces in the east and west of the crisis-hit country.
They have reportedly forced regime troops to retreat from the western town of Kikla about 150 kilometers southwest of the Libyan capital, Tripoli.
In the east, the revolutionaries have launched more attacks against forces loyal to Libyan ruler Muammar Gaddafi near the oil town of Brega.
NATO has been intensifying its campaign in Libya to surmount the standoff on the eastern front, with its air campaign pummeling forces loyal to beleaguered Gaddafi.
This is not the first time the military alliance strikes opposition forces in Libya. It had formerly hit revolutionary positions on a number of occasions. NATO officials insist that it is difficult to make a distinction between revolutionary and pro-Gaddafi forces in the desert areas of the country as both sides use similar vehicles.
DEN HAAG - Denemarken koopt Nederlandse bommen voor F-16-gevechtsvliegtuigen om daarmee gronddoelen in Libië te kunnen bestoken.
Over een à twee weken worden de eerste bommen opgehaald, zei plaatsvervangend commandant der strijdkrachten Wim Nagtegaal donderdagavond tijdens een militaire briefing in de Tweede Kamer over de NAVO-missie in Libië.
Volgens hem worden tientallen bommen aan Denemarken verkocht. Welk bedrag daarmee is gemoeid, kon hij niet in het openbaar aangeven. De Denen deden enkele weken geleden een verzoek om bommen te leveren, omdat ze een tekort aan munitie hebben.
Denemarken voert wel bombardementen in Libië uit, Nederland doet dat niet. Volgens Nagtegaal past de levering van de bommen binnen de NAVO-afspraken. ''Als je onderling onderdelen nodig hebt, dan wordt dat van dezelfde systemen vaak uitgewisseld'', zei hij.
De Kamerleden hadden om de briefing gevraagd ter voorbereiding op het debat woensdag over de verlenging van de Nederlandse bijdrage aan de NAVO-missie.
Het kabinet heeft besloten tot eind september zes F-16-gevechtsvliegtuigen en een mijnenjager in te zetten om te helpen bij het afdwingen van het vliegverbod boven Libië en de controle van het wapenembargo.
Spanje, Zweden en Qatar beperken zich net als Nederland tot de handhaving. De Verenigde Staten, het Verenigd Koninkrijk, Frankrijk, Denemarken, Canada, Italië, Noorwegen, België en de Verenigde Arabische Emiraten voeren daarnaast ook bombardementen uit op militaire en andere strategische doelen, aldus de defensietop.
De directeur van de Militaire Inlichtingen- en Veiligheidsdienst (MIVD), Pieter Bindt, zei dat er indicaties zijn dat de strijdende partijen op illegale manier wapens en munitie invoeren over land.
De uitgestrekte westelijke en zuidelijke grenzen van Libië gaan door bergachtig terrein, waardoor het volgens Bindt lastig is de mogelijke wapensmokkel tegen te gaan. Ook Afrikaanse huurlingen zijn actief in het land.
De ChristenUnie vindt dat de NAVO het gat moet dichten samen met de omliggende landen om de wapeninvoer over land tegen te gaan. Kamerlid Joël Voordewind van deze partij wees er op dat Kaddafi het anders nog veel langer kan volhouden dan de drie maanden die de NAVO de missie nu heeft verlengd.
The top U.S. admiral involved in the Libya war admitted to a U.S. congressman that NATO forces are trying to kill Libyan leader Muammar al-Qaddafi. The same admiral also said he anticipated the need for ground troops in Libya after Qaddafi falls, according to the lawmaker.
House Armed Services Committee member Mike Turner (R-OH) told The Cable that U.S. Admiral Samuel Locklear, commander of the NATO Joint Operations Command in Naples, Italy, told him last month that NATO forces are actively targeting and trying to kill Qaddafi, despite the fact that the Obama administration continues to insist that "regime change" is not the goal and is not authorized by the U.N. mandate authorizing the war.
"The U.N. authorization had three components: blockade, no fly zone, and civil protection. And Admiral Locklear explained that the scope of civil protection was being interpreted to permit the removal of the chain of command of Qaddafi's military, which includes Qaddafi," Turner said. "He said that currently is the mission as NATO has defined."
"I believed that we were [targeting Qaddafi] but that confirmed it," Turner said. "I believe the scope that NATO is pursuing is beyond what is contemplated in civil protection, so they're exceeding the mission."
Later in the same briefing, Turner said, Locklear maintained that the NATO mission does not include regime change. "Well, certainly if you remove Qaddafi it will affect regime change," Turner said that he replied. "[Locklear] did not have an answer to that."
Locklear also said that, upon Qaddafi's removal, ground troops would be needed during the immediate period of instability, Turner said. In fact, Locklear said publicly that a "small force" might be necessary following the collapse of the Qaddafi regime in a May 30 conference in Varna, Bulgaria.
Turner joined hundreds of other lawmakers in voting against authorizing the Libya war on Friday morning. The authorization resolution was defeated 123 to 297. A subsequent vote on a bill to defund the Libya mission also failed 180-238 .
Turner has been opposed to the Libya war from the start and even introduced a resolution opposing the effort. For him, Friday's chaotic Libya debate was a direct result of the administration's neglect and disrespect of Congress throughout the debate over the mission.
"The president hasn't come to Congress and said any of this, and yet Admiral Locklear is pursuing the targeting of Qaddafi's regime, Qaddafi himself, and contemplating ground troops following Qaddafi's removal," Turner said. "They're not being straightforward with Congress... It's outrageous."
Ignoring Congress allowed the administration to ignore the large, looming questions about the Libya war that congressmen are asking -- especially today, as another vote to defund the mission looms before the House next month, when the defense appropriations bill is set to be debated. But if the House does vote to defund the mission, Turner said, Obama will have nobody to blame but himself.
"I believe that this administration has handled this so badly, that if they had come to Congress, I think they would have done more of their homework. They have not done a full assessment of their mission, its scope, or the consequences if they're successful. Congress would have required that," Turner said. "Now it's a little late."