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Daily Archives: March 18, 2011

At Least 41 Civilians Killed as US Drones Attack Tribal Jirga in North Waziristan

Illustration Pic : Drones Attack

Pakistan urges US apology over strike, which has killed at least 35 civilians in the North Waziristan http://wp.me/p1cSV9-4J2

PAKISTAN, March 18, 2011 (KATAKAMI.COM / ANTI WAR.COM ) — The latest US drone strike against North Waziristan Agency, Pakistan is amongst the deadliest in recent memory, with at least 41 people killed and other, unconfirmed sources speculating the toll may be upwards of 80.

Making matters worse, this strike isn’t coming with the usual pretense of everyone slain being a “suspected militant.” Rather, the attack struck a tribal jirga (official meeting) for the Madda Khel tribe, in the town of Datta Khel.



The casualties from the attack included six tribal elders who were overseeing the jirga, which was apparently to discuss the ownership of mineral rights, a number of children who were brought by their families to the gathering, and several members of a pro-government militia the tribe helped organize.

The US has been striking houses and vehicles in Datta Khel and elsewhere in North Waziristan for years, and such a large gathering must have seemed an appealing target. The fact that the gathering had nothing to do with militants, however, points again to just how little information they have about their targets before launching missiles at them.   (*)
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Full transcript of Libyan Foreign Minister Moussa Koussa's "ceasefire" statement

Libyan Foreign Minister Moussa Koussa

LIBYA, March 18, 2011 (KATAKAMI.COM / THE TELEGRAPH.CO.UK) —
Libya, after having seen the resolution, would like to explain the following.
As the country will try to deal with this resolution. Libya now has knowledge of this resolution, and according to article 25 of the UN charter, and taking into consideration that Libya is a full member of the UN, we accept that it is obliged to accept the security council resolution. 

Therefore, Libya has decided an immediate ceasefire, and the stoppage of all military operations.

Libya takes great interest in protecting all civilians, and offering them all necessary humanitarian aid, and respecting all human rights, and obliging to the international and humanitarian laws and it is also obliged to protect all of the foreigners in Libya and protecting their assets.

In doing so, Libya is in accordance with the resolutions of the security council and the articles of the charter of the United Nations.

We emphasise in the resolution 1973 for the year 2011, we emphasise and agree to the article regarding the protection of civilians and the territorial unity of Libya.

And therefore, building on this, we are opening all dialogue channels with everyone interested in the territorial unity of Libya.

And my country is very serious about continuing the development, economic, political, humanitarian and social development of the Libyan nation.

And we have indeed taken serious steps in continuing this development for the good of the Libyan people. And we believe that this will take the country back to safety and security for all Libyans.

We also express our sadness towards what the resolution has included, of procedures against the Libyan nation, such as the no-fly zone, which includes commercial and civilian flights.This will increase the suffering of the Libyan people, and will have a negative impact on the general life of Libyan people.

The international community should have exempted civilians from the resolution to secure their quality of life.

Also, the total and inclusive freezing of all Libyan assets and investments will have a very negative impact on normal Libyans and also on Libya’s ability to fulfill its contracts locally and internationally.

Libya also finds that its very strange that the UN allows in its resolution the use of military power and there are signs that this might indeed take place.

This goes clearly against the UN Charter, and its a violation of the national sovereignty of Libya. And it’s also in violation of Article 4(2) of the UN Charter.

And finally, we insist and emphasise our request for all international governments, NGOs and others to check the facts on the ground by sending fact-finding missions so that they can take the right decision by seeing the facts on the ground.

Thank you.   (*)

 

 
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Libya declares ceasefire after U.N. resolution

Libyan Foreign Minister Moussa Koussa

LIBYA, March 18, 2011 (KATAKAMI.COM) – Libya declared a ceasefire in the country to protect civilians and comply with a United Nations resolution passed overnight, Libyan Foreign Minister Moussa Koussa said on Friday, as reported by REUTERS.

“We decided on an immediate ceasefire and on an immediate stop to all military operations,” he told reporters.

“(Libya) takes great interest in protecting civilians,” he said, adding that the country would also protect all foreigners and foreign assets in Libya.  (*)

 

 
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'Libya shuts air space to all flights'

Muammar Al Gaddafi

LIBYA, March 18, 2011 (KATAKAMI.COM) — Libya has closed its air space to all flights after the UN Security Council (UNSC) passed a resolution, imposing a no-fly zone over the country, RIA NOVOSTI repsorted on Friday.

Europe’s air navigation organization, Eurocontrol, said on Friday that it obtained the information from Maltese authorities who said “Libya does not accept any traffic until further notice,” according to wire reports.

The move comes after the French government announced an imminent attack against Libya that could include France, Britain and possibly the United States.

The three powers are reportedly scrambling fighter jets. Canadian media have reported that it is planning to send six CF-18 fighter jets to join the military action against the Libyan regime.

Norway has also expressed readiness to participate in the effort, but Russia has ruled out taking part in the military measure, reports said.

Five members of the Arab League, including Jordan, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, will also contribute to the military effort, according to an AFP report, quoting diplomats, which did not elaborate on specific details.

Libyan Defense Ministry has warned of quick retaliation to any military action, saying their response could endanger all air and maritime traffic in the Mediterranean Sea.

Despite the passage of a no-fly zone resolution by the UNSC on Thursday, Libyan ruler Muammar Gaddafi has remained defiant by vowing an offensive on the eastern city of Benghazi which is the revolutionaries’ stronghold.   (*)
 
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China calls for peaceful dialogue with Libya as UN approves no-fly zone

 

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Jiang Yu

 

 

March 18, 2011 (KATAKAMI.COM) — China is against a forceful resolution to the Libyan crisis and warns against the escalation of the conflict, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Jiang Yu said on Friday.

As reported by RIA NOVOSTI on Friday, the statement came after the United Nations Security Council adopted a resolution on Thursday imposing a no-fly zone over Libya. The resolution stipulates possible military action against Libya except for ground forces unless Col. Muammar Gaddafi immediately stops violence against the civilian population.

China, along with Russia, Germany, India, and Brazil, abstained from the vote on the resolution, which was approved by the remaining ten UN Security Council members, including the United States, Britain and France.

“The Chinese side stresses that UN Security Council’s actions should be in line with the organization’s charter and existing international norms, respect Libya’s right for sovereignty, independence, indivisibility and territorial integrity, [and] resolve the existing crisis through dialogue and other peaceful means,” Jiang said in a statement.

“We are against using force in international relations,” the statement said.

The UN resolution, adopted after three days of consultations, authorizes “to take all necessary measures… to protect civilians and civilian populated areas under threat of attack in the Libyan Arab Jamhariya, including Benghazi, while excluding an occupation force.”

Under the resolution, the UN member states will not authorize Libyan planes to take off, land or fly in their airspace, if the flight was not approved by the Security Council’s sanctions committee.

The no-fly zone regime would not apply to planes delivering humanitarian cargo and evacuating foreigners from Libya.

The resolution also freezes assets of Libyan oil companies and the country’s Central Bank.

A British government source earlier said that British forces could be in action over Libya as early as Friday.

Mass riots demanding the end of Gaddafi’s 42-year rule have been raging in Libya since mid-February. Gaddafi said on Thursday the confrontation between authorities and the rebellious opposition would end very soon.   (*)

 

 
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Transcript of Exclusive Interview Christiane Amanpour With Saif Al-Islam Muammar Al-Gaddafi

Gadhafi's son Saif

March 18, 2011 (KATAKAMI.COM / ABC) — The United States and its allies appear poised to take military action on the heels of a U.N. resolution earlier this evening imposing a no-fly zone over Libya and authorizing “all necessary measures” to protect civilians.

Only hours earlier, Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi vowed to show no mercy to protesters, saying he would crush the rebellion with a final assault.

Late Thursday (March 17, 2011), after the U.N. resolution, ABC News’ Christiane Amanpour spoke to Gaddafi’s son Saif, who was in Tripoli. What follows is a transcript of their conversation.

Christiane Amanpour: Gaddafi Saif is joining me from Tripoli. Can you tell me where you are?

Said Gadhafi: I’m in Tripoli right now.

CA: Are you hiding? Are you worried?

SG: Hiding from whom?

CA: Well, as you know, the U.N. has taken a resolution that would potentially involve air strikes against your father’s air defenses andvarious military emplacements.

SG: I think our country and with our people. We are in our country with our people. We are not afraid.

CA: What is your father’s reaction, your reaction to this resolution that’s just been taken?

SG: First of all, it was unfair because, as you know, as you know, from the beginning we told everybody there were no air strikes against civilians. No bombing of civilian districts or demonstrations. And all those reports showed they were false. Number one. Number two. Even if you see last week what happened. The army and Libyan volunteers did fight the armored militia and liberated five Libyan cities from them. Have you seen a single civilian casualty? Even the terrorists or the armed people, they just surrender. So there was no bloodshed.

CA: Let me ask you this. What are you going to do with Benghazi? People in Benghazi are cheering this U.N. resolution because they’re afrraid of your father’s forces.

SG: Listen, this is a big mistake because in Benghazi we have 1.5 million people. If you are listening to 1,000 or 2,000, that’s a different story. But believe me, the people are living in a big mess. The armored militia yesterday killed four young boys. Why? Because they were against him. Everybody is terrified because of the armed militia. They live in terror. Armed people are everywhere. They have their own courts. They execute the people that are against them. No school. No hospital. No money. No banks. You think the people are happy? Of course not. We are receiving on our TV everyday hundreds of calls from Benghazi. Everyday people are crying saying, ‘Please come and liberate us from those terrorists.’ People are not happy there. Are you happy if you’re in a city controlled by gangsters and armed people and armed militia?

CA: Let me ask you this. It’s the Arab League that’s asking for intervention. It’s very unusual. They don’t think that the people of Libya are alright. They think they’re being slaughtered.

SG: First of all, Libya is not Bahrain. Seventeen percent of the population are against the royal family and the other countries are sending tools to oppress them. In Libya, it’s the other way around. The Arabs want to settle accounts with Libya. We know that. By the way. There’s a funny story here in Libya. Everyone is happy with the United States because we heard they are against airstrikes against Libya and is not supporting British and French. People here are angry with the Europeans and for perhaps the first time in modern history, they like the Americans and are happy with America. And that’s why, like today, people said when the army captured the New York Times correspondent in the city of (?) because she entered the city illegally, but when they found out she was American they said it’s OK. You’re good people. We’ll free you. Even here in Libya, people think that Arabs and Europeans betrayed the Libyan people. And they have their own agenda. And they think the Americans have a different agenda. And they have different position toward Libya. The Arabs, in Bahrain they oppress the Bahraini people. And in Libya, no demonstration, that we are Libyan fighting the armored militia and terrorists. They are against us.

CA: Let me ask you something: The four New York Times journalists — are they going to be freed? Where are they right now?

SG: They entered country illegally and the army, when they liberated the city from the terrorists, they found them there and they arrested them there. But I told you, the people and we are very angry with Europeans and the Arabs because they are strong, they have deals, contracts and oil. This time, the Americans are different.

CA: But this time, the Americans have voted for this resolution. Your father told us that the country loves him, that the people love him, but clearly that’s not the case because in so many parts of the country they were rising up against him. Do you think your father deserves now to remain head of Libya after all these killings, after all this fighting?

SG: We said this many times in the past — that we are going to have new competition and new Libya soon. Let me tell you something once and for all. Two days ago, when the armed militia and city surrendered to the army because they are cowards and they escaped, half million people living there, they are happy because they were controlled by the militia for two weeks, the same thing in all the cities, have you seen single civilian casualty? And everybody was happy, everybody is happy, so show me. Go and support al Qaeda and majority want peace and order and they want safety. They want to live in peace. So we want Americans to help us get rid of the remnants of those people and to have a peaceful country, more democratic country, more freedom, but not to threaten us with air strikes. We will not be afraid. Come on! You are not going to help Libya by killing. To kill Libyans, you destroy our country. Nobody is happy with that. If you want to help us help us against terrorists, help us to build the new Libya. More democracy, constitution, more freedom, etc. If you want to help Libyans, you send airplanes to bomb my country? Of course not.

CA: Saif, you said tonight that military operations are over, the U.N. resolution is too late. What do you mean by that?

SG: Now, we did liberate most of the country, city of Tuturk next to the Egyptian border, there is the green flag. It’s a very safe and peaceful city and the people themselves liberated themselves. Liberated themselves. The people did fight, even without the help of the Libyan army. Just I give you two examples the same thing in Benghazi, they fled city they escaped. And my father said tonight, ‘You boys, you lay down your arms and go and we will pardon you.’ And they laid down arms, so most of them have been neutralized. Most of them, except maybe a few of them are still there. Who knows?

CA: Tell me what is going to happen. Are you going to free, release the four New York Times journalists?

SG: As I said, this is not my decision. The people here, I don’t know why they are annoyed with Americans. … People are very angry with Arabs and Europeans, and I heard this is not because of that they will release her and they entered country illegally.

CA: Thank you very much, indeed.

SG: You’re welcome.   (*)

 
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China: 'Serious reservations' about a United Nations resolution authorizing a no-fly zone over Libya

US President Barack Obama (left) and British Prime Minister David Cameron. China was among five countries that abstained from Thursday’s vote on the U.N. resolution to allow “all necessary measures” to stop Gadhafi. It was approved with the backing of the United States, France and Britain.

BEIJING, March 18, 2011 (KATAKAMI.COM)  – China says it has “serious reservations” about a United Nations resolution authorizing a no-fly zone over Libya and military action to protect civilians against Moammar Gadhafi’s forces, AP reported on Friday.

The Foreign Ministry said in a statement Friday that China opposes using military force in international relations.

The ministry says China has consistently stressed respect for Libya’s sovereignty, independence, unity and territorial integrity and that the crisis should be resolved through dialogue.

China was among five countries that abstained from Thursday’s vote on the U.N. resolution to allow “all necessary measures” to stop Gadhafi. It was approved with the backing of the United States, France and Britain.  (*)
 
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