Friday, February 25, 2011

Libya: no-fly zones now

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18/2 in al-Bayda, 2 policemen hung (RFI, 18:30 + 00:20:00)
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21/2 Francois Hollande says something like: il faut que l'Europe s'exprime fortement pour √©viter un bain de sang (interview on France Inter).  But pressure by the West is unlikely to have any effect: things have gone too far for there to be a reconciliation between the people and the regime (we have reached the point de non retour, according to Gilles Kepel on France Inter, 22/2) .  ... la revue Maghreb-Machrek ???

Criticism on Sunday (20/2) by US ambassador to the UK of British policy of engaging with Libya: as British ambassador to Libya says, he is also criticising his own government's policy: the US worked hand in hand with the UK on this (Newshour). One of the dissidents / exiles says: we were all in favour, we gave benefit of doubt to the regime, but they didn't deliver anything. ...
However, there is a price that Europe that will have to pay:  Gaddafi threatens to stop cooperating over illegal migrants  ... he had started to do so recently. This could include those from sub-Saharan Africa, using Libya as a transit country.
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telephone comms disrupted (4:00) ... Tunisians feared they may be singled out ... (RFI, 18:30 + 00:07:00)
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(From BBC website, 21 February 2011, updated at 10:55 GMT)  Gaddafi's son, Saif al-Islam, appeared on Libyan TV.  Someone says: why is William Hague contacting this psychopath ? (C4News)

22/2 Gaddafi's "umbrella appearance" 2:00 local time, thanks God for rain, which proves he is in Libya, not Venezuela (report mentioned by William Hague; France Inter indicates some translations gave 'not Venezuela or France'). Later he makes a much longer and more threatening speech.  (C4 News)

Mercenaries from sub-Saharan Africa, Rumours flying about even as far as Guinea (Conakry) according to the BBC (WS c17:30).

possibility of no-fly zones ? (Newshour)
23/2 Jon Leyne, in east ... State TV not reporting events from anywhere except Tripoli & Sabha (in the south) ... suggests regime is only in control of these areas. (BBC, Today, 7:15 on website ) leading cleric says: we need no-fly zones (BBC WS).

A military man says: possible to deploy no-fly zones rapidly, but what is the point ? (BBC WS c17:30)

24/2 BBC confirming reports that crews had ejected / parachuted and let their 'planes crash.
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So many gaps, hope to fill in later ....

But, for me,  at this point in time,  these actions seem to be necessary, urgently:

 no-fly zone
provide supplies,  especially medical
(humanitarian aid)