Sunday, February 27, 2011
Gaddafi holds on to Tripoli but lost two more cities
Inhabitants of Tripoli queue in front of a bank in order to receive the $ 400 that the government promised to hand out to every family.
Forces fighting to oust the Libyan leader Col Muammar Gaddafi have seized the city of Zawiya, 50 km west of the capital, Tripoli, as well as the town of Misurata. . The Libyan government took journalists to Zawiya on Sunday morning. But instead of a show of government force, reporters saw opposition fighters manning the barricades in the city centre and flying their flag. However, tanks were surrounding Zawiyah 50km from Tripoli, and locals feared an imminent raid by pro-Gaddafi forces.
Tripoli still remains in the control of Col Gaddafi. Residents of the city said banks were open but bread and petrol remained tightly rationed as the opposition grip on large swathes of the nation disrupted the distribution of basic goods.
According fto diplomats up to 2,000 people may have been killed in the nearly two weeks of violence. The UN refugee agency UNHCR says about 100,000 migrants have fled to neighbouring Tunisia and Egypt in the past week.
The UN Security Council imposed a travel ban and a ban on the assets of Gaddafi's government and, with exceptional unanimity, ordered an investigation into possible crimes against humanity by the Libyan leader and his troops.
Meanwhile, Libya's former justice minister announced he was forming a "transitional government" to replace Gaddafi's crumbling regime, which now controls only some western areas around the capital and a few long-time bastions in the arid south.. Mustafa Abdel Jalil, who is in teh city of Al-Baidha, said the new administration would include commanders of the regular army, many of who defected to the opposition, and would pave the way for free and fair elections in three months' time.
Other opponents of Gaddafi said they formed a new National Libyan Council after a meeting in Benghazi. Their spokesman described the council as the face of the revolution and not an interim government.