Open

Coming up

Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

AFRICA NEWS

Ebola virus : Liberia shuts most border points

Read more

MEDIAWATCH

"What would you do?"

Read more

DEBATE

Too Late for Sanctions? Pressure Mounts on Russia over Ukraine (part 2)

Read more

DEBATE

Too Late for Sanctions? Pressure Mounts on Russia over Ukraine

Read more

FOCUS

As France’s Carrefour pulls out, what next for India’s retail market?

Read more

#TECH 24

Internet of Things

Read more

THE WORLD THIS WEEK

The World This Week - July 25th, 2014 (part 2)

Read more

REPORTERS

Halal tourism on the rise

Read more

THE WORLD THIS WEEK

The World This Week - July 25th, 2014

Read more

  • Israel warns of ‘prolonged’ campaign in Gaza

    Read more

  • Washington accuses Moscow of violating arms treaty, toughens sanctions

    Read more

  • Tripoli threatened by out of control blaze

    Read more

  • In pictures: From Gaza to Mosul, bittersweet end of Ramadan for Muslims

    Read more

  • France offers asylum to Iraqi Christians

    Read more

  • Moroccan police arrest French al-Qaeda recruiter

    Read more

  • French mayor files complaint against US father who risked kids’ lives on Mont Blanc

    Read more

  • French footballer Griezmann headed to Atletico Madrid

    Read more

  • Luc Besson’s sci-fi thriller ‘Lucy’ tops US box office

    Read more

  • Video: Slaviansk mourns mass grave victims

    Read more

  • France honours those lost on Air Algérie Flight AH5017

    Read more

  • Video: Ethiopia turns to wine to boost image, economy

    Read more

  • Thousands gather in Marseille in support of Israel

    Read more

  • As France’s Carrefour pulls out, what next for India’s retail market?

    Read more

  • Liberia tightens border controls to curb Ebola outbreak

    Read more

  • The centenary of Austria-Hungary’s calamitous last hurrah

    Read more

  • Nibali joins elite group with Tour de France win

    Read more

Africa

Libya's NTC transfers leadership to Tripoli

Text by News Wires

Latest update : 2011-08-26

The National Transitional Council announced Friday that they would transfer their power base from Benghazi to Tripoli, a move precipitated by a UN Security Council decision to unblock $1.5 billion of seized Libyan assets to be used as emergency aid.

AP - Libya's rebels announced Friday the transfer of their leadership to Tripoli from their Benghazi base, boosted by a United Nations decision to release millions of dollars in aid within days.

US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton also pledged support for the "new Libya," urging the triumphant rebels to turn the page on Moamer Kadhafi's rule and build a secure, democratic state.

Ali Tarhuni, a senior official with the rebel National Transitional Council (NTC), said their leader Mustafa Abdel Jalil would arrive in Tripoli as soon as the security situation permitted.

"I declare the beginning and assumption of the executive committee's work in Tripoli," Tarhuni, the executive committee's vice-chairman and minister of oil and economics, told a press conference in the capital.

"Long live democratic and constitutional Libya and glory to our martyrs," he said, announcing the holders of key posts in a new provisional government.

He called on forces loyal to Kadhafi to lay down their arms, and promised they would be treated lawfully.

"Put your weapons down and go home. We will not take revenge. Between us and between you is the law. I promise you will be safe."

The UN Security Council released $1.5 billion of seized Libyan assets to be used for emergency aid after the United States and South Africa ended a dispute over the money.

The assets were frozen in US banks, but South Africa had blocked the release on the Security Council's sanctions committee, saying it would imply recognition of the NTC.

The last-minute accord with South Africa meant that the United States did not press for a Security Council vote. A new request was immediately made and approved by the Libya sanctions committee, diplomats said.

"The money will be moving within days," a US diplomat said.

The new request made no mention of the NTC, only that the money would be directed through the "relevant authorities."

Washington said Thursday the money would pay for UN programmes, energy bills, health, education and food, and would not be used for any "military purposes."

Earlier a senior rebel official said diplomats of the Contact Group on Libya had agreed in Istanbul to speed up the release of some $2.5 billion in frozen Libyan assets by the middle of next week.

Italian Foreign Minister Franco Frattini said Rome would next week release 350 million euros ($504 million) frozen in Italian banks.

In Washington, Clinton called on the rebels to guard weapons stockpiles and take a hard line against "extremism."

"The situation remains fluid, but it is clear that the Kadhafi era is coming to an end, opening the way for a new era in Libya -- one of liberty, justice, and peace," she said in a written statement.

"There can be no place in the new Libya for revenge attacks and reprisals... Libya's future will be peaceful only if the leaders and people of Libya reach out to each other in a spirit of peace."

The aid announcements came less than three days after rebel forces swarmed into Kadhafi's sprawling compound in the centre of the capital, defeating his fighters in fierce clashes and seizing control of most of the city.

But Kadhafi was nowhere to be found and on Thursday he broadcast a new audio message calling on the populace to take up arms.

"We must resist these enemy rats, who will be defeated thanks to the armed struggle," he said.

"Leave your homes and liberate Tripoli," he added in the message broadcast from an unknown location.

Kadhafi's message came as Abdel Jalil gave the grim assessment that more than 20,000 people had been killed in the drive launched in mid-February to end the strongman's 42-year iron rule.

Half of the NTC members arrived Thursday in Tripoli to begin a transition to the post-Kadhafi era, while a rebel offensive largely cleared the staunchly loyalist district of Abu Slim after fierce fighting.

"Half of the government is here, and today we have had meetings with the military leadership," NTC spokesman Mahmud Shamman told AFP, as rebel fighters continued to search for the elusive strongman.

Abdel Jalil said that countries which had helped the rebel cause would be rewarded accordingly in the nation's reconstruction phase.

"We promise to favour the countries which helped us, especially in the development of Libya. We will deal with them according to the support which they gave us," he told a news conference in Benghazi.

Beyond Tripoli, rebel commanders said they were readying a new advance against forces defending Kadhafi's hometown of Sirte, 360 kilometres (225 miles) east of Tripoli, and would seek to break a siege of Zuwarah, a town to the west.

The Facebook page of the Kadhafi regime's television station, which went off the air on Monday, said NATO warplanes had attacked Sirte, but gave no details.

However, an AFP reporter discovered that French and British operatives are working with rebels as they press towards Sirte, amid unconfirmed reports British special forces SAS members were sent to Libya several weeks ago.

The rebels are intent on finding Kadhafi so they can proclaim final victory in an uprising that began six months ago and was all but crushed by government forces before NATO warplanes gave crucial air support.

Rebel leaders say they want to put Kadhafi on trial, and he also faces charges of crimes against humanity along with his son Seif al-Islam and spymaster Abdullah al-Senussi at the International Criminal Court in The Hague.

On Wednesday, the NTC offered a $1.7 million reward for the capture of Kadhafi, dead or alive, and an amnesty to any members of his inner circle who kill or capture him.

Foreign workers were evacuated late Thursday on the first International Organisation for Migration boat to dock in war-torn Tripoli.

The boat, which waited offshore for two nights for the security situation to improve as the battle for Tripoli raged, transported Filipinos, Egyptians, Canadians, Algerians and Moroccans.

Date created : 2011-08-26

  • LIBYA

    Gaddafi urges resistance as manhunt continues

    Read more

  • LIBYA

    Libyan opposition forces battle loyalists in Tripoli

    Read more

  • LIBYA

    Rebels place million-dollar price on Gaddafi’s head

    Read more

COMMENT(S)