Libya civil war live blog: Libya calls for international observers to verify cease-fire
People celebrate after the United Nations approved a no fly zone over Libya, leading to a cease-fire. But reports indicate that violence is ongoing.
March 18th, 2011
09:22 PM ET

Libya civil war live blog: Libya calls for international observers to verify cease-fire

The latest developments on the situation in Libya, where the government declared a cease-fire Friday after the United Nations voted to impose a no-fly zone in response to weeks of bloody clashes between forces loyal to Moammar Gadhafi and rebels. Read our complete story and check out our full coverage on unrest in the Arab world.

[9:22 p.m. ET, 3:22 a.m. in Libya] Forces loyal to Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi are honoring a cease-fire and are not fighting a militia group that is making advances in the eastern part of the country, according to a government official. Rebel forces are advancing on the town of al-Migrun, south of the rebel stronghold Benghazi, said Deputy Foreign Minister Khaled Kaim.

[7:45 p.m. ET, 1:45 a.m. in Libya] Several nations laid out their military intentions on Friday regarding Libya:

– Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper said his country is sending CF-18 fighter jets to join a Canadian warship on standby off the coast of Libya.

– French government spokesman Francois Baroin said France plans to participate in "swift" efforts against the Gadhafi regime.

– President Nicolas Sarkozy will convene a summit Saturday to examine the crisis. Members of the Arab League, the president of the European Council and representatives of states supporting implementation of the U.N. resolution have all been invited.

– British Prime Minister David Cameron said the United Kingdom has started preparations to deploy aircraft, and "in the coming hours" they will move to air bases where they will be positioned for any "necessary action."

– Spain will offer NATO the use of two military bases and provide air and naval forces for use in operations involving Libya, Spanish Defense Minister Carme Chacon said Friday in Madrid.

[7:15 p.m. ET, 1:15 a.m. in Libya] President Obama is trying to limit the United States' role in enforcing a no-fly zone over Libya to support aircraft only and is very reluctant to commit any offensive U.S. firepower, a senior U.S. official familiar with the military planning discussions said Friday.

"We will provide the unique capabilities that we can bring to bear to stop the violence against civilians, including enabling our European allies and Arab partners to effectively enforce a no-fly zone," the president said in a nationally televised statement about U.S. military action.

"The president chose his words deliberately and carefully, and you should be guided by them," the official said. "He is very sensitive that this not be a U.S. operation. We are part of it. And of course, we by nature of our superior capabilities have a lead and leadership role to play. But we are part of it and expect a lot from our partners," the official said.

[6:30 p.m. ET, 12:30 a.m. in Libya] Deadly conflict is raging in Libya, witnesses say, despite the government announcement of an "immediate" cease-fire after a U.N. Security Council resolution authorizing the use of force to protect civilians. At least 28 people died and hundreds were wounded as fighting raged in the Libyan cities of Mistrata, Ajdabiya and Zintan on Friday, according to Khaled el-Sayeh, military spokesman for the opposition.

[6:30 p.m. ET, 12:30 p.m. in Libya] A resolution permitting "all necessary measures" to protect Libyan civilians does not preclude the United States from arming rebels, the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations said Friday.

Ambassador Susan Rice told CNN's "Situation Room" that the "U.S. is ready to act" and that Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi "should be under no illusions that if he doesn't act immediately he will face swift and sure consequences, including military action."

President Barack Obama warned Gadhafi to adhere to a cease-fire and pull back from several besieged cities or face military consequences. Rice said the immediate focus is protecting civilians.

[4:50 p.m. ET, 10:50 p.m. in Libya] Libya's deputy foreign minister on Friday called for observers from China, Malta, Turkey and Germany "to come to Libya as soon as possible ... to make sure that there is a real cease-fire on the ground."

Khaled Kaim also noted that the "door is open for any other countries to send observers."

[2:37 p.m. ET, 8:37 p.m. in Libya] President Barack Obama said Friday that "left unchecked, we have every reason to believe Gadhafi (will) commit atrocities against his own people" and the surrounding region could be destabilized.

"The democratic values that we stand for would be overrun" and the "words of the international community would be rendered hollow," the president said.

The focus of the United Nations is on protecting innocent civilians and holding Moammar Gadhafi accountable, Obama said.

A cease-fire must be implemented immediately, and Gadhafi's troops must be pulled back from several cities, he said. Power and water must be restored to those cities, he declared.

"These terms are not negotiable," Obama said.

If Gadhafi doesn't comply, the U.N. resolution will be imposed through military action. The United States will work as part of an international coalition, Obama said, but American troops will not be deployed in Libya.

[2:37 p.m. ET, 8:37 p.m. in Libya] President Barack Obama said Friday that "left unchecked, we have every reason to believe Gadhafi (will) commit atrocities against his own people" and the surrounding region could be destabilized.

"The democratic values that we stand for would be overrun" and the "words of the international community would be rendered hollow," the president said.

The focus of the United Nations is on protecting innocent civilians and holding Moammar Gadhafi accountable, Obama said.

A cease-fire must be implemented immediately, and Gadhafi's troops must be pulled back from several cities, he said. Power and water must be restored to those cities, he said.

"These terms are not negotiable," Obama said.

If Gadhafi doesn't comply, the U.N. resolution will be imposed through military action. The United States will work as part of an international coalition, Obama said, but American troops will not be deployed in Libya.

[8:48 a.m. ET, 2:28 p.m. in Libya] The Libyan government has decided on an immediate cease-fire in its civil war with rebels, Libyan Foreign Minister Moussa Koussa said Friday.

Libya's action comes after the U.N. Security Council authorized the use of force to protect Libyan civilians from attacks by forces loyal to the Moammar Gadhafi regime.

Enforcement of a no-fly zone over Libya could begin in hours, a French government spokesman said on Friday.

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Filed under: Libya • World
soundoff (163 Responses)
  1. George F

    This reminds me of 1919 when the League of Nations assigned France to mandate Lebanon in order to 'create a better future' for the countries that were extricated from the Ottoman Empire. However, the secret Sykes-Picot Agreement and Balfour Declaration proved the typical colonization goals and not the alleged aiding goals. Similarly, the French 'assistance' to the Libyans will turn be the mask of secret colonization treaties.

    March 19, 2011 at 4:44 am | Report abuse | Reply
  2. George F

    This reminds me of 1919 when the League of Nations assigned France to mandate Lebanon in order to 'create a better future' for the countries that were extricated from the Ottoman Empire. However, the secret Sykes-Picot Agreement and Balfour Declaration proved the typical colonization goals and not the alleged aiding goals. Similarly, the French 'assistance' to the Libyans will turn out to be the mask of secret colonization treaties.

    March 19, 2011 at 4:50 am | Report abuse | Reply
    • Cesar

      Very true,George F. Look at the idiotic way the French handled the French-Indochina War. They should have gotten together with the Viet Minh and created a French Commonwealth where Vietnam would become a part of it.

      March 19, 2011 at 11:03 am | Report abuse |
  3. Ron

    "...Security Council Resolution 1973, passed yesterday with 10 yes votes and 5 abstentions - Brazil, China, Russia, India and Germany..." ;I still doubt about it why the scores(result) didn't cover WIN-WIN .So what? Do we people must be afraid of other conflict among the global states ,Oh, that means what gonna happen next?!!WHO CAN TELL!?!

    March 19, 2011 at 2:26 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  4. sporadotimes

    He is ready to act after country was already subjected to civil war and burned to the ground...after he implemented via United Nations prohibition of air space usage allowing use exclusively to Gaddafi's air attacks and destruction of rebel army while at the same time prohibiting assistance from already liberated neighboring countries..and why !? Because rebel army didn't tolerate Jewmerican corruption and therefore rebels needed to be destroyed to extend when those will seat at negotiation table with Jewmerica. LIBERATORS WILL ENSLAVE REBELS BY PUSHING FORWARD GREAT ISRAEL'S AGENDA AND OWN OIL $$

    WELL, ALL THIS REGIMES HAVE ONE THING IN-COMMON OR TRAITOR-SHIPS AGAINST FOUNDING NATIONS AND IN THEIR OWN COUNTRIES(PARASITIC DICTATORSHIPS – COMPARE THIS TO DICTATOR OBAMA BELLOW)

    DICTATOR OBAMA = STALIN = BUSH - USA = USSR....LEARN WHO, WHY, AND HOW RUINED YOU…FROM 911 TO AUSTRALIAN FLOODS – WHITE AMERICAN REFUGEES - ARIZONA SHOOTING – WIKILEAKS is CIA - ESKIMO SARAH PALIN'S "BRIDGE TO NOWHERE" - LEARN ABOUT REAL HUMAN FLASH EATING MACHINE - BREAST FEEDING INSANITY - CIVIL RIOTS IN ARAB COUNTRIES - NEWS/MEDIA or simply BIG FAT WORLD OF LIES !!??? - NEW WORLD ORDER POLITICAL PARTIES(how, who, why or they are not there for you, but instead to seal your faith for their parliament pay$$$ scale !!!! ) http://avsecbostjan.wordpress.com/ or http://avsecbostjan.blogspot.com

    March 19, 2011 at 8:33 pm | Report abuse | Reply
    • Максим

      Демократия ... ООН ... Освобождение повстанцев ... Борцы за свободу.... Саркози , Каддафи .... Бред all это. Нефть не бред. Деньги не бред. В этом вся причина , не более, не менее. Кстати, в Грузии по повстанцам стреляют и слезоточивым газом льют. Где миротворцы ? Есть такое изречение : " А судьи кто ?"

      May 27, 2011 at 12:42 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Planet X

    Israel is becoming a nation. http://nopolicestate.blogspot.com/2011/01/egypt_29.html

    March 20, 2011 at 10:31 am | Report abuse | Reply
  6. Cesar

    Michelle, great post Michelle. I too thank the UN for doing the right thing. Good to see that the good doers of the world agree with Washington for once. FREE LIBYA!

    March 20, 2011 at 12:20 pm | Report abuse | Reply
    • Cesar

      Sorry Michelle,I didn't post the above. What I want to know is what's wrong with majority of these people here anyway? Once again,I want to state that war has no glory and that killing people is bad regardless of what majority of Americans think. All this warmongering here proves that this a very sick society!!!

      March 20, 2011 at 3:26 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Cesar

    @Cesar of 3:26: Spoken like a true Tea Partier!!!

    March 21, 2011 at 1:43 am | Report abuse | Reply
  8. ed Bailey

    up your postierer glutamus maximus CNN!

    March 21, 2011 at 6:12 am | Report abuse | Reply
  9. ed Bailey

    Who are your censors, GOP supporters, demo wierdos, what.you have some distance to go to grow up!

    March 21, 2011 at 6:14 am | Report abuse | Reply
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