- For reports on the situation in Libya on March 2, go here -
- Update: And, so it appears that the violence will continue tomorrow (check Tuesday February 22 coverage here). The UN has raised its rhetoric considerably this evening, but at the moment it is still rhetoric. There has been some talk about convening an emergency meeting of the Security Council to respond to the situation on the ground. It will be interesting to see whether any action is actually considered under the Responsibility to Protect (R2P) doctrine. With that we will sign off for the night.
- Update: All internet access has been shutdown in Libya
- Update: Saif Gaddafi denies any airstrikes on Libyan cities reportedly saying that warplanes were targeting ammunition depots and not populated areas.
- Update: According to Al Arabiya, Gaddafi is set to make a speech soon. Keep watching the Al Jazeera livestream.
- Update: One of the interesting things about this revolutionary epoch in the Middle East and North Africa (in addition, of course, to the extreme political importance and the human drama) is that you learn so much about countries. F.e., I never knew that much about the make-up of Egyptian society until the uprising there. Libya, then, of 6.4 million people, is apparently a country of tribes; there’s really no such thing as a Libyan national identity. Heads of these tribes, moreover, are represented in military divisions in the army (a way for Gaddafi, originally a socialist revolutionary, to keep control). One by one, now, these tribes seem to be defecting. Al Jazeera now reports, for example, that the Migraha tribe has abandoned Gaddafi, following the Tuareg and Warfela tribes, who have come out in support of the protests yesterday. This means that, on the one hand, the army can not play the stabilizing/suppressing role it can in Egypt; on the other hand, civil war could ensue.
- Update: A good overview, as usual, from the NYT.
The faltering government of the Libyan strongman Col. Muammar el-Qaddafi struck back at mounting protests against his 40-year rule, as helicopters and warplanes besieged parts of the capital Monday, according to witnesses and news reports from Tripoli. (…)
The rebellion is the latest and bloodiest so far of the uprisings that have swept across the Arab world with surprising speed in recent weeks, toppling autocrats in Egypt and Tunisia, and challenging others in Bahrain and Yemen.
As the conflict spread to Tripoli, Colonel Qaddafi’s long hold on power appeared to be weakening, too, as key advisers and diplomats broke with his government and Libya’s second-largest city remained under control of the protesters. (…)
In a sign of growing cracks within the government, several senior officials — including the justice minister and members of the Libyan mission to the United Nations — broke with Colonel Qaddafi.
- Update: Fighter planes seem to be defecting on Malta.
- Update: Nice:
- Update: Check out this Flickr stream of photos from the Libyan uprising.
- Update: I find it almost impossible to believe, but only 10 days after Mubarak’s resignation (and Ben Ali’s resignation before that), reports are coming in that Gaddafi has left the capital Tripoli. There are unconfirmed, however. Apparently, moreover, the minister of Justice and other senior officials have defected.
1437: A number of Libya’s senior government officials and diplomats have now quit. Libya’s envoy to the Arab League, Abdel Moneim al-Honi, announced earlier he was “joining the revolution” and its ambassador to India, Ali al-Essawi, told the BBC he was resigning in protest against his government’s violent crackdown on demonstrators.1428: Libyan Justice Minister Mustafa Mohamed Abud Al Jeleil has resigned over the “excessive use of violence” against protesters, the privately-owned Quryna newspaper reports.
- Original post: After Egypt, Bahrein and Yemen, the shit seems to be very much hitting the fan in Libya, where the fashion-sensitive Colonel Gadaffi has ruled with an iron fist since 1969. Given the nature of the Libyan regime, press reports are scattered, but as usually Al Jazeera is very much on it.
1:19 pm The folks at Alive in Libya have posted another audio clip of a phone call from Tripoli overnight on Sunday. It confirms what we’ve been hearing: Protesters have burned, looted and destroyed a number of government buildings in the Libyan capital, including several police stations and “revolutionary committee” headquarters.
“Every so often we get news that an area has fallen in the hands of the protesters,” the man said.
After protesters briefly took the capital’s central square, they were confronted by by cars and land cruisers whose passengers opened fire “like it was a war”.
12:07 am Reports from news agencies, Twitter and witnesses speaking directly to Al Jazeera are painting a picture of semi-chaos overnight in Tripoli. It appears that some protesters from nearby towns converged on the city, and thousands from the capital itself turned out as well. They were allowed to march to the central Green or Martyrs’ Square, which they occupied briefly before being confronted by security forces and pro-Gaddafi protesters, who came out in force after a late-night speech by Saif al-Gaddafi, the leader’s son.
During the night, protesters have broken into and burned a number of government buildings, reportedly including: State television; the main courthouse; a large, centrally located bank; an intelligence agency building; at least two police stations – one in Souq Jamaa and one in Zawadahmany.
Liveblog Al Jazeera here
Livestream Al Jazeera here
Live/protest blog Libya February 17th here
Liveblog The Guardian here
Livestream BBC here