France, Italy, UK sending military advisers to Libya; photojournalists killed in Misrata
Thursday, April 21, 2011
Italian Minister for Defence William Hague, said they would send a team that could possibly contain up to twenty advisers.said Wednesday that his country will send ten instructors. French officials said they would send fewer than ten. The British Foreign Secretary,
La Russa said in a news conference that the advisers' roles had yet to be determined, "They won't be on the battlefield. They'll be mentors, they won't accompany them. Training is one thing, participation another."
He further said of the rebels, "They're rich in enthusiasm, they want to fight for liberty, but naturally they are poor in experience and arms." However, La Russa believes that not all the arms the rebels have were taken from thestockpiles, stating, "I don't think they only have arms from the Gaddafi army. Some help arrived." He did not elaborate on the final statement.
Meanwhile, U.S. officials say President Barack Obama's administration plans to give the Libyan opposition 25 million in non-lethal assistance. The officials say the assistance could include items such as vehicles, fuel trucks, protective vests and non-secure radios.
Libya's foreign minister,, criticized the dispatch of foreign military advisers, saying it will harm chances for peace in the country. In an interview with the BBC, Obeidi called for a ceasefire followed by a six month period to prepare for an election. "We think any military presence is a step backwards, and we are sure that if this bombing stopped and there is a real ceasefire we could have a dialogue among all Libyans about what they want — democracy, political reform, constitution, election. This could not be done with what is going on now," said Obeidi.
The move comes as UN officials condemn the use of that are in use by pro-Gaddaffi forces, a tactic banned under the , of which Libya is not a signatory.
NATO forces to "exercise the utmost caution and vigilance so as not to kill civilians by mistake". Pillay praised the Libyan government for allowing on Monday a U.N. humanitarian base in the capital city of Tripoli.stated, amidst reports of snipers attacking civilians in many towns, that use of such munitions would "inevitably lead to civilian casualties", whilst also calling for
Meanwhile, fighting has continued between rebel and pro-government forces this Wednesday in the besieged western port city of, where residents are pleading for international intervention.
British photojournalist, who co-directed the documentary film , which was nominated for an this year, died from wounds he suffered in an attack in the city.
|In besieged Libyan city of Misrata. Indiscriminate shelling by Qaddafi forces. No sign of NATO.|
—Tim Hetherington's last tweet
His colleagues, photographers vascular surgery. Another with the group, Michael Christopher Brown also received shrapnel wounds which were not life-threatening.and Guy Martin were also severely wounded. Hondros suffered a severe brain injury leaving him in a critical condition and eventually succumbed to his injury at a triage center and Martin, a British citizen, was injured by shrapnel, and is now receiving
Hetherington last updated his Twitter account on Tuesday, which read, "In besieged Libyan city of Misrata. Indiscriminate shelling by Qaddafi forces. No sign of NATO."
Leaders in the rebel-held city called for the urgent intervention of foreign ground troops to protect the 500,000 civilians there, the first such request by anyone among Libya's opposition forces. The rebels' civilian leadership, the Transitional National Council, has however rejected the presence of foreign troops on Libyan soil to help their cause.
Meanwhile, across the country, NATO airstrikes again struck government installations in several cities.
- "Libya: France and Italy to send officers to aid rebels" — , April 20, 2011
- Alan Cowell, Ravi Somaiya. "France and Italy Will Also Send Advisers to Libya Rebels" — , April 20, 2011
- "Libyan Rebels Get Military Advice From EU, Aid From US" — , April 20, 2011
- "Tim Hetherington, co-director of 'Restrepo,' killed in Libya" — , April 20, 2011
- "Convention on Cluster Munitions" — , April 20, 2011
- Press Release: "Libya’s indiscriminate attacks on civilians in Misrata may be international crimes – Pillay" — Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, April 20, 2011
- C.J. Chivers. "‘Restrepo’ Director and a Photographer Are Killed in Libya" — , April 20, 2011
- "British military officers to be sent to Libya" — , April 19, 2011