No-fly zone de­bate

Res­i­dents flee Libya as fight­ing in­ten­si­fies

Townsville Bulletin - - World Snapshot -

WEST­ERN pow­ers ar­gued over im­pos­ing a pro­posed nofly zone over Libya as rebels fight­ing Muam­mar Gaddafi’s regime be­gan or­gan­is­ing the trap­pings of par­al­lel gov­ern­ment in many towns.

The UN refugee agency said the sit­u­a­tion on the LibyaTu­nisia bor­der was reach­ing cri­sis point as des­per­ate ex­pa­tri­ate worker spour across, fear­ful of a bloody rear­guard ac­tion by diehard regime el­e­ments.

More than 100,000 peo­ple have al­ready left Libya to es­cape a vi­cious crack­down by Gaddafi loy­al­ists which has left at least 1000 dead, ac­cord­ing to con­ser­va­tive UN es­ti­mates.

Anger at au­thor­i­tar­ian Arab regimes in the Mid­dle East and North Africa raged from Al­ge­ria to Ye­men and has spread to the pre­vi­ously un­af­fected Gulf states of Kuwait and Oman, un­nerv­ing fi­nan­cial mar­kets around the world.

New York crude prices again breached $ US100 a bar­rel in early Asian trade yes- t er­day and Wall Street shares slumped, af­ter Fed­era l Re­serve chief Ben Bernanke warned high oil prices could spark in­fla­tion and ham­per re­cov­ery.

Huge crowds poured into Ye­men’s cap­i­tal Sanaa on Tues­day to protest at Pres­i­dent Ali Ab­dul­lah Saleh, in power since 1978.

Saleh dis­missed the demon­stra­tions as ‘‘ a storm or­ches­trated from Tel Aviv and un­der Wash­ing­ton’s su­per­vi­sion’’. Diplo­matic ma­noeu­vring over Libya stepped up with the United Na­tions on Tues­day, sus­pend­ing the oil-rich state from its main hu­man rights body, but the UN Se­cu­rity Coun­cil is split on the cri­sis.

Gaddafi is shout­ing de­fi­ance, al­though his regime now con­trols only some west­ern ar­eas around the cap­i­tal and a few long­time bas­tions in the arid south.

US Sec­re­tary of State Hil­lary Clin­ton said Libya was at a cross­roads be­tween progress to a ‘‘peace­ful democ­racy’’ or ‘‘ pro­tracted civil war’’. Bri­tish Prime Min­is­ter David Cameron, a lead­ing ad­vo­cate of the no-fly op­tion, said it was un­ac­cept­able for Gaddafi to ‘‘ be mur­der­ing his own peo­ple, us­ing aero­planes and he­li­copter gun­ships and the like’’.

Lon­don said a no-fly zone did not nec­es­sar­ily re­quire U N ap­proval, but new French For­eign Min­is­ter Alain Juppe ruled out mil­i­tary ac­tion with­out a clear UN man­date, and Rus­sia ap­pears scep­ti­cal over t he is­sue.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.