Thu, February 24, 2011
World > Africa

FACTBOX - Diplomats desert Libya's Gaddafi

2011-02-24 09:34:10 GMT2011-02-24 17:34:10(Beijing Time)

REUTERS - Rebel soldiers said the eastern region of Libya had broken free from Muammar Gaddafi, who witnesses said was using tanks, warplanes and mercenaries to fight a growing uprising against his rule.

World powers have condemned the use of force against protesters, U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon accusing Libya of firing on civilians from warplanes and helicopters.

On Monday Libyan Deputy Ambassador Ibrahim Dabbashi of the Libyan mission to the U.N. resigned his post in protest at the violent crackdown.

Here are some details of other diplomatic protests and defections against Gaddafi.

* AUSTRALIA: Omran Zwed, the Libyan mission's cultural counsellor, speaking in front of the embassy, told a small band of emotionally charged Libyan protesters: "We represent the Libyan people and no longer the Libyan regime."

* BANGLADESH: Ahmed A.H. Elimam, Libya's ambassador in Dhaka has resigned in a move to support protests against embattled Libyan leader Moamer Gaddafi, Bangladeshi media reports said, quoting Foreign Ministry officials.

* EGYPT: Staff at the Libyan consulate in the Egyptian city of Alexandria lowered the Libyan flag and joined protesters nearby urging those inside to renounce their allegiance to Gaddafi.

-- "Resign and join the honourable diplomats who have turned against the killer Gaddafi or else the Libyan youth will break into the consulate and stage a sit-in," a protester shouted.

* FRANCE: A member of the UNESCO delegation read out a statement from the Libyan ambassador and his counterpart at UNESCO to Reuters.

-- "We announce to the people of Libya, the Arab world and the international community our support for the people in its revolt against the machine of oppression and aggression."

-- The member of the delegation said they had not resigned.

-- On Monday, Nuri al-Mismari -- who has been at Gaddafi's side for almost 40 years although he left Libya in late 2010 to undergo heart surgery in France -- resigned from his post as chief of state protocol in Libya. Al-Mismari was detained in France in November 2010 at the request of Libya, which wants to try him for embezzlement, but he said he had not been removed from his post and has remained in contact with the Gaddafi administration.

* INDIA: Ali al-Essawi, Libya's ambassador to India resigned his post in protest at the violent crackdown. He told Reuters he was beseeching global powers to help his people, who he said were being killed by mercenaries and air force strikes.

* PERU: Peru said it suspended diplomatic relations with Libya "for as long as violence against the population continues."

"Peru emphatically protests the repression unleashed by the dictator Muammar Gaddafi against a population that demands democratic reforms to change a government that has been led by the same person for 40 years," President Alan Garcia said in a statement.

Libya does not have an embassy in the Andean nation but Peru has a diplomatic representative in Tripoli.

* MALAYSIA: Libya's embassy in Malaysia condemned Gaddafi's crackdown on the protesters, calling it "barbaric and criminal" after the mission in Kuala Lumpur was briefly occupied by around 200 protesters.

-- Protesters smashed a portrait of Gaddafi and hauled down the country's flag to replace it with what they said was a pre-Gaddafi flag.

-- Osama Ahmed, a counsellor at the embassy, told Reuters that the ambassador here would remain in place to help around 5,000 Libyans living in Malaysia.

* UNITED NATIONS: Libyan Deputy Ambassador Ibrahim Dabbashi and most other diplomats at Libya's U.N. mission announced on Monday that they were no longer working for the Gaddafi government and represented the country's people. They called for Gaddafi's overthrow.

-- But Libyan U.N. Ambassador Abdurrahman Shalgham, who did not sign onto the anti-Gaddafi statement issued by Dabbashi and others, said he still supported Gaddafi.

-- Shalgham told reporters he had appealed to Libyan officials to end the violence against demonstrators, but that, "I am with Gaddafi."

* UNITED STATES: Libya's ambassador to the United States called on Washington to speak up strongly in defense of the Libyan people, saying it is time to get rid of the government of Muammar Gaddafi.

-- Ambassador Ali Aujali told ABC's "Good Morning America" that he no longer represents his country's government and called on Gaddafi to step aside to avoid further bloodshed.

-- "I resign from serving the current dictatorship regime. But I will never resign from serving our people until their voices reach the whole world, until their goals are achieved."


-- Two Libyan Air Force fighter pilots defected on Monday and flew their jets to Malta where they told authorities they had been ordered to bomb protesters, Maltese government officials said. They said the two pilots, both colonels, took off from a base near Tripoli. One of them has requested political asylum.


Add Your Comments:

Your Name:
Your Country:
(English Only)
Please read our Terms of Service. Messages that harass, abuse or threaten others; have obscene or otherwise objectionable content; have spam, commercial or advertising content or links may be removed.