At sea and land, misery in Libya

According to Reuters and other news services, Archbishop Giovanni Innocenzo Martinelli, Apostolic Vicar of Tripoli, has apparently reported that Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi has been wounded following recent NATO airstrikes and has probably left Tripoli. The archbishop was cited as a source for this information by Italian Foreign Minister Franco Frattini.

A Libyan government spokesman brushed aside the reports, but Frattini told reporters that he believed what he had been told by Archbishop Martinelli. "I tend to give credence to the comment of the bishop of Tripoli, Monsignor Martinelli, who has been in close contact over recent weeks, when he told us that Gaddafi is very probably outside Tripoli and is probably also wounded. We don't know where or how," Frattini said. Archbishop Martinelli has been calling for a ceasefire since the start of the NATO campaign. Even as it continued over Libya's skies, the need for some sort of intervention in its waters was becoming more apparent. The UN adds another harrowing report to growing evidence of refugees and escaping guest workers voluntarily boarding or being forced by pro-Qadaffi forces into overloaded and unseaworthy boats and left adrift to their doom. An interview with the nine survivors of a craft once filled with 72 attempting to escape from Libya was conducted by UNHCR staff in Tunisia.


The 12-metre boat was severely overcrowded and soon ran out of fuel, water and food, drifting for more than two weeks before reaching a Libyan beach between Tripoli and the Tunisian border.

UNHCR spokesperson Melissa Fleming said the men gave harrowing details of the boat’s journey, with passengers forced to drink sea water or their own urine once fresh water ran out.

“They ate toothpaste. One by one people started to die,” Ms. Fleming said, detailing the account given by one of the survivors. “He said that they waited for a day or two before dropping the bodies into the sea. There were 20 women and two small children on board. A woman with a two-year-old boy died three days before he died.”

After reaching the shore, a woman died from exhaustion and the remaining survivors were taken to hospital and then to prison, but were later released after Ethiopian friends paid the jail $900.

Ms. Fleming said the Ethiopian refugees also reported that military vessels twice passed the boat without stopping and that at one point a military helicopter dropped food and water on to the boat.

The passengers had paid smugglers $800 to make the journey and were expected to operate the boat on their own.

Ms. Fleming said UNHCR is now providing the survivors with assistance in Tunisia.

Perhaps all sides might consider a time-out in the fighting so NATO's formidable capacity might be directed to recover the wounded, the dead and those lost at sea? . . . I know, not very likely.


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David Pasinski
7 years 10 months ago
The????? ???"??humanitarian intervention" was, fronm the beginning, a convenient exc?use for mounting this ill t?hought out proxy civil war w?ith the purpose of the overthrow of Qaddafi.? ??H?e? ?d?e?s?e?r?v?e??s?? ?n?o? ?d?e?f?e?n?s?e? ?f?o?r? ?h?i?s? ??be?h?a?v?i?o?r?,? ?b?u?t? ?n?e?i?t?h?e?r? ??d?o?e?s?????????? ?t?h?e? ??U?S? ?o?r? ??N?A?T?O?.? ??B?o?t?h? ?s?i?d?e?s? ?c?a?l?l? ?f?o?r? ??"?c?e?a?s?e? ?f?i?r?e??"? ?w?h?e?n? ?i?t? ?w?o?r?k?s? ?t?o? ?t?h?e?i?r? ?a?d?v?a?n?t?a?g?e?.?  
7 years 10 months ago
This is only one of the many horror stories playing out in the Arab world at this time. The main event is in Syria where over a thousand have been killed in the last month and more added each day.  In Egypt the situation is very unstable and Christians are being targeted and killed to show them a lesson as the new order is taking over.  Then there is Iran which is apparently challenging Saudi Arabia at Bahrain and has its own internal problems.

Libya is horrible but it is a side show in all this.  The US is unwilling to do anything and are hoping that it all will settle out as Syrian are being killed by the small sect that rules the country with an iron hand.  Meanwhile the Saudi have abandoned the US and gone to the Chinese for help.  Interesting since the Chinese are also helping the Iranian nuclear effort.  Not much in the press as they seem to be letting this one slide under the radar but it is not pretty in this area of the world. 
7 years 9 months ago
Tom Brady ed hardy clothing (Tom Brady) has finally succeeded discount coach handbags in the home of revenge, the New England Patriots thrilling final to beat the visiting Indiana 31:28 pony. This is the eighth consecutive year the two teams met in the regular season, although the game, Tom Brady lost the data, but they are a powerful group of three-dimensional offensive attack and coach outlet online, defensive group, 3 steals to help the team win, the audience game, Brady completed 25 passes and efficient 19 of them, spread 186 yards and two touchdowns passing, but the team also completed a ground offensive up to 186 yards. Pony, the Peyton Manning continues to play brave, 52 successfully completed 38 passes for 396 yards and the amazing 4 passing touchdowns, but there are 3 times by the steals, which pointer with 13 seconds in the coach outlet, Patriot red covering the Patriots safety James Sanders, David (James Sanders) in steals directly ruined the game.


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