Monday, 21 February 2011

Saif Al-Islam Qadhafi warns against civil war

Colonel Mu'ammar Qadhafi's son Saif Al-Islam has made a lengthy speech on Libyan television, saying that there is a very real danger of civil war breaking out in the country. Saif al-Islam's address came as anti-governemnt protesters clashed with security forces in Tripoli. In a bid to appease the nation, he offered political reforms, and admitted that the security forces had made "mistakes", but challenged the death toll.

Human Rights Watch estimates that at least 233 people have been killed since Thursday 17th February. The group called on Libya to cease using brutal force and unlawful killing of the demonstrators with live ammunition.

Reports from Tripoli confirm the city to be mainly quiet, with little evidence of another uprising; however, government forces are still patrolling Green Square in case of disquiet.

During his televised address, Saif Al-Islam blamed everyone from foreigners, exiles, drug addicts, Islamists and the media for the crisis. He also offered concessions but warned of civil war if the trouble continued. He added that his father Colonel Mu'ammar Qadhafi would fight till the last man, the last woman, the last bullet.

Sources: BBC News, New York Times, Bloomberg, AP

For more news and expert analysis about Libya, please see Libya Focus and Libya Politics & Security.

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