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Gaddafi calls on UN to protect Sirte from rebels | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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Cairo, Asharq Al-Awsat – Asharq Al-Awsat yesterday received a copy of the latest message sent by ousted Libyan leader Colonel Muammar Gaddafi to UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon, in which he called on the UN to stop the “terrorism and aggression being practiced by NATO against Sirte.” He added that “this aggression is indescribable and unprecedented in the history of warfare.”

In his message to the UN Secretary-General, Gaddafi also said that “although Sirte is isolated from the world and is the scene of [NATO] atrocities, the world should not be isolated from it” adding that “the world has a duty not to be absent; the world must bear its international responsibility and intervene immediately to stop these crimes.”

Asharq Al-Awsat received this message via e-mail from Gaddafi official spokesman Mousa Ibrahim. A similar message was also read out on Gaddafi’s behalf on Syria-based Al-Rai TV, although it was not apparent that this message was addressed to UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon.

The ousted Libyan leader referred to himself as “Muammar Gaddafi, the leader of the Al-Fateh Revolution of September” in the message, but did not reveal his current whereabouts, or where he wrote, or indeed sent, this message from.

Gaddafi also stressed that “we cannot surrender Libya to colonialism again…the Libyan people have no option but to fight until they score victory and defeat colonialism.”

In a phone-call to the pro-Gaddafi Al-Rai TV earlier this week, Gaddafi spokesman Mousa Ibrahim claimed that “thousands of volunteers” were ready to “liberate” Libya from the rule of the National Transitional Council [NTC]. He claimed that “we are strong. We have the capabilities, means, and plans to liberate the whole of Libya.”

In a previous audio message broadcast by Al-Rai TV last week, Gaddafi stressed that he had not left Libya, telling his supporters that “NATO will be defeated by force because its financial ability is not enough to proceed with the shelling” adding that “they claimed I left for Niger in order to weaken you and destroy your morale.”

He also dubbed the Libyan rebels rats, traitors, and liars once again.

Since the Gaddafi regime was overthrown on 23 August, the ousted Libyan leader and those loyal to him continue to communicate via Syria-based Al-Ra TV. Just one day prior to the ouster of the Gaddafi regime, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon – who Gaddafi addressed in his latest message – had called on the Gaddafi forces to “cease violence immediately and make way for a smooth transition.”

In related news, NTC military sources informed Asharq Al-Awsat that rebel forces had, for the first time, entered Sirte from three directions, whilst fighting between rebel forces and pro-Gaddafi forces is ongoing in the Gaddafi-held town of Bani Walid.

However a source in Bani Walid denied to Asharq Al-Awsat that the town was close to falling under NTC-control, stressing that Gaddafi forces are holed up inside the town and are using its residents as human shields.

The source also revealed that “the residents of Bani Walid are extremely afraid…the pro-Gaddafi battalions are not letting anybody leave” adding that “there is no fuel and water, whilst there is no electricity for much of the time.” The source stressed that the residents of Bani Walid are “overcome by fear and panic.”