Taarifa za waasi kurudi nyuma zimetolewa huku kukiwa na mkutano wa kimataifa juu ya Libya ambao umehusisha mataifa ya kiarabu kusaidia katika kuijenga Libya baada ya kumtoa Gaddafi.
Maelfu ya watu wameuliwa na kujeruhiwa tangu machafuko dhidi ya uongozi wa Kanali Gaddafi ulipoanza zaidi ya wiki sita zilizopita, huku waasi wakidhibiti eneo kubwa la mashariki na wanaomwuunga mkono Kanali Gaddafi wakishikilia mji mkuu wa Tripoli na miji mingine magharibi mwa nchi hiyo.
Wapiganaji wa I Coast waelekea mji mkuu
Majeshi yanayomtii Rais anayeungwa mkono na Umoja wa Mataifa Alassane Ouattara yanaelekea kwenye mji mkuu wa Ivory Coast, Yamoussoukro.
Bw Gbagbo amekataa kuachia madaraka licha ya Umoja wa Mataifa kutangaza kuwa alishindwa kwenye uchaguzi wa Novemba.
Katika mji wa magharibi wa Duekoue, maelfu ya watu wamejihifadhi kwenye kanisa baada ya kukimbia mapigano wiki hii.
Vikosi vya jeshi la muungano vyaishambulia Libya bila huruma
Jenerali Charles Bouchard kutoka Canada
Miripuko ilisikika kwenye mji mkuu wa Tripoli mapema leo na walioshuhudia wamesema kuwa eneo la rada ya kijeshi lilikuwa likiwaka moto.
Ndege za kivita za jeshi la muungano zilifanya mashambulio 150 zaidi dhidi ya vikosi vya jeshi la Kanali Gaddafi, ukiwemo mji wa mashariki wa Adjabiya. Mashambulio hayo yamewawezesha waasi kuudhibiti tena mji huo.
Kuna taarifa kwamba mtoto wa kiume wa Kanali Gaddafi, Saif al-Islam ameondoka kwa siri nchini humo ikiwa ni katika kuchukua hatua za kidiplomasia kwa ajili ya kuzuia mapigano zaidi na kuidhibiti hali iliyopo sasa ya kisiasa na kijeshi ambayo inazidi kuwa mbaya.
Msemaji wa serikali ya Libya alisema raia watatu wa Libya waliuliwa kwenye bandari ya nchi hiyo.
Uvumi ambao haukuthibitishwa kuwa waasi waliudhibiti mji wa Sirte ulisababisha waasi kufyatua risasi kwa minajil ya kushangilia kwenye mji walioukhodhi wa Benghazi.
Waandishi wa kigeni Sirte walisema walisikia milipuko mikubwa kwenye mji huo huku ndege zikipita angani.
US President Barack Obama, gestures, as he takes a question from a member of the media, during his news conference at the NATO Summit in Strasbourg, France, Saturday, April 4, 2009.(AP)
But in the longer run, an uneven sharing of the combat load in Afghanistan could doom U.S. hopes for relying on NATO as a partner in future conflicts. While the alliance celebrated its 60th anniversary and Obama hailed its more cohesive spirit, none of the leaders inside the Strasbourg castle alluded openly to the hard prospect that NATO troops may stay largely shielded while American soldiers are exposed to most of the battles and casualties.
The summit over the weekend ended with NATO’s agreement to contribute 5,000 more troops to bolster the intensified U.S. push for more security in Afghanistan’s cities and training for beleaguered Afghan soldiers and police.
The NATO additions are not insubstantial. But they pale beside Obama’s decision to send 21,000 U.S. soldiers and Marines this year to buttress 38,000 American troops fighting the Taliban. The new NATO contingent — adding to the alliance’s 35,000 troops in Afghanistan — would even be outstripped by the 10,000 more troops that senior American commanders are urging Obama to deploy to the conflict next year.
Left unsettled is how a NATO that was built on the principle of sharing security burdens can continue to play a role in the global effort to defeat Islamic extremism if it is unwilling to assume more of the risks in tight corners like Afghanistan.
“That’s a significant problem for the alliance, going forward,” said Nicholas Burns, a former American ambassador to NATO who is now a professor of diplomacy and international politics at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government.
“We all agreed to go into Afghanistan. The essence of the alliance is that we share responsibility and we share commitments,” Burns said. “And for some of the countries to essentially refuse to send their troops to combat areas, I still think, is an important issue that cannot be forgotten.”
U.S. congressional leaders have been vocal in bringing up reminders. At a hearing last week on U.S. strategy for Afghanistan and Pakistan, Sen. Carl Levin, D-Mich., chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, said the allies’ stance in Afghanistan was “nothing short of pitiful.”
But generally the Americans have taken on the bulk of the fight against the Taliban and against terrorists like al-Qaida.
With the first U.S. surge troops soon expected to arrive, a delegation of senior U.S. officials visited Kabul on Sunday to deal with the knotty issue of Afghanistan’s approaching election. U.S. special envoy Richard Holbrooke and Joint Chiefs Chairman Adm. Mike Mullen met much of the day with Afghan President Hamid Karzai and other candidates and government officials.
High on the agenda is settling the question of who will serve as president after Karzai’s term expires in May, since the presidential election will not be held until August. Holbrooke said Sunday it appears that Karzai will remain in office in that interim period. But the diplomat carefully added that the U.S. is taking no position on Karzai’s re-election effort.
Holbrooke, the Obama administration’s special representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan, also welcomed Iran to join Afghan stabilization talks in “whatever forums work for them.”
The American willingness to include Iran in talks on Afghanistan’s future is indicative of the new administration’s tack to broaden the world’s involvement in what was mostly a U.S. enterprise during the Bush years.
But the uneasy outlook for NATO’s role in Afghanistan is central to a still-unsettled debate about whether the alliance should return to its focus on preventing conflict within its own borders. NATO was created in April 1949 as a bulwark against a Soviet land invasion to conquer western Europe, but since the collapse of communism and the dissolution of the Soviet Union in the early 1990s, NATO has been an alliance in search of a reason for being.
Obama’s strategy for Afghanistan contains themes that the Europeans have been preaching for years. They include the need to more closely integrate the roles of combat and nonmilitary activities such as developing the Afghan economy, promoting reconciliation with some insurgents, and finding more effective ways of strengthening the credibility of the Afghan government.
Mullen said Obama’s new war strategy makes clear that the U.S. needs help from allies to build a firmer foundation for stabilizing Afghanistan.
“Probably the most important part is to create governance in the country at every level — not just the national level but also at the district level, the provincial level,” he said in a speech in New York on Thursday before flying to the NATO summit.
But without real harmony, Mullen added, “it won’t make any difference how many more troops we send it — it’s not going to work.” (By ROBERT BURNS /AP)
The White House Blog
Afghanistan and NATO
Posted by Jesse Lee on April 04, 2009 at 05:51 PM EDT
In a press conference after the NATO meeting today, the President began by congratulating Danish prime minister Anders Fogh Rasmussen for his unanimous selection as NATO’s next Secretary General, while also recognizing Turkey for seeing past initial objections in the spirit of consensus. He thanked President Sarkozy of France and Chancellor Merkel of Germany for hosting him, and noted the significance of NATO’s two newest formal members, Albania and Croatia. But as everybody new, Afghanistan was the top concern of the meeting, and the President spoke at length about his new plan for Afghanistan announced a week ago and the agreements reached in the meeting:
We start from a simple premise: For years, our efforts in Afghanistan have lacked the resources needed to achieve our goals. And that's why the United States has recommitted itself to a clear and focused goal -- to disrupt, dismantle, and defeat al Qaeda in Afghanistan and Pakistan, and to prevent their return to either country in the future.
This effort cannot be America's alone. All of NATO understands that al Qaeda is a threat to all of us, and that this collective security effort must achieve its goals. And as a signal of that commitment, I am pleased that our NATO allies pledged their strong and unanimous support for our new strategy. Keep in mind it was only just a week ago that we announced this new approach. But already with Secretary Clinton's work at The Hague and with the success at today's summit we've started to match real resources to achieve our goals.
We're leaving Strasbourg and Kehl with concrete commitments on NATO support. Our allies and partners have already agreed to provide approximately 5,000 troops and trainers to advance our new strategy, as well as increased civilian assistance. To support critical elections for August 20th, NATO will fully resource our election support force to maximize security. And our allies have committed additional funds to an Afghan elections trust fund that will provide the necessary resources for free and fair elections.
To accelerate and enhance our training of Afghan security forces, a new NATO mission, a new NATO training mission, will focus on high-level support for Afghan army, and training and mentoring for the Afghan police. And many of our allies and partners have also pledged support for a new trust fund to sustain Afghan national armies going forward.
And to strengthen Afghan institutions and advance opportunity for the Afghan people, we are working with our NATO allies and partners to achieve substantial increases in non-military assistance and to provide the kind of doctors, engineers, educators and agricultural specialists that are needed to make a difference on the ground.
Q Thank you, Mr. President, and good afternoon. I'd like to ask you about a law that's recently been passed in Afghanistan that affects the 10 percent of the Shia population there. A summary of it says it negates the need for sexual consent between married couples, tacitly approves child marriage, and restricts a woman's right to leave the home. The United Nations Development Fund for Women says this legalizes the rape of a wife by her husband. I'd like your assessment of this law, number one. Number two, will you condition future troop movements of the U.S. to Afghanistan on the basis of this law being retracted or rewritten? And if not, sir, what about the character of this law ought to motivate U.S. forces to fight and possibly die in Afghanistan?
PRESIDENT OBAMA: Well, first of all, this was actually a topic of conversation among all the allies. And in our communication -- communiqué, you will see that we specifically state that part of this comprehensive approach is encouraging the respect of human rights. I think this law is abhorrent. Certainly the views of the administration have been, and will be, communicated to the Karzai government. And we think that it is very important for us to be sensitive to local culture, but we also think that there are certain basic principles that all nations should uphold, and respect for women and respect for their freedom and integrity is an important principle.
Now, I just want to remind people, though, why our troops are fighting, because I think the notion that you laid out, Major, was that our troops might be less motivated. Our troops are highly motivated to protect the United States, just as troops from NATO are highly motivated to protect their own individual countries and NATO allies collectively. So we want to do everything we can to encourage and promote rule of law, human rights, the education of women and girls in Afghanistan, economic development, infrastructure development, but I also want people to understand that the first reason we are there is to root out al Qaeda so that they cannot attack members of the Alliance.
Now, I don't -- those two things aren't contradictory, I think they're complementary. And that's what's reflected in the communiqué