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Libya: Gaddafi Calls For Ceasefire as No-Fly Zone Begins (Video)

Categories: Middle East & North Africa, Libya, Breaking News, Human Rights, Politics, Protest

This post is part of our special coverage Libya Uprising 2011 [1].

Shortly after the UN Security Council-imposed no-fly zone over Libya was to take effect, Colonel Muammar Al Gaddafi's government said it would halt its hostilities in the country.

In a vote of 10 in favor and five abstentions, the United Nations Security Council passed resolution 1973 [2], “all necessary measures” to protect civilians from pro-Gaddafi forces and to find a peaceful solution to the fighting that began when government forces began attacking anti-regime protesters.


A wide view of the Security Council as 5 Members—China, Brazil, Germany, India and the Russian Federation—indicate their abstentions on resolution 1973 (2011) which authorizes the use of military force, including a no-fly zone, in Libya. Photo from the UN.

First, we have Tweeps covering the press conference with Foreign Minister Moussa Koussa, who presented the Gaddafi government's first formal reaction to the resolution.

@bungdan: [4]
Mussa Kusa, top Qaddafi aide declares immediate ceasefire. No threats, no bluster. They were shelling misrata this morning though #libya

@deepak_minhas: [5]#libya's FM Koussa said bc his country was a member of the United Nations it is “obliged to accept to #UN Security Council's resolutions”.

@fmrw89: [6]Moussa Koussa has an interestingly selective way of interpreting the UN Charter. Oh well, I suppose that puts him in good company. #libya

I should also point out:

@kasrawiNYC: [7]#Libya's Foreign Minister has the greatest name of any Arab politician: Moussa Koussa (Moussa the Squash)

‘It's a lie’
Tweeps met the call for ceasefire with sustained boos and pleas to ignore it:

@Tripolitanian: [8]Koussa's comments don't change anything, #Gaddafi continues to bomb civilians, we want this madman to go! | #Libya #Feb17

@freedom4libya: [9]There is no ceasefire it's a trick. #Gadhafi is attacking Misrata & Zintan in the west and Adjabia in the east. NATO?? What are you waiting4

@freedom4libya: [10]
Hello world leaders DO NoT FALL FOR #GADHAFI CEASEFIRE IT'S A LIE. #libya please rtweet

@Dima_Khatib: [11]Gaddafi's games: first he says resolution not worth paper it is written on, then he says he will respect it –> cease fire, then he .. fires

@AlArabiya_Eng: [12]The commander of protesters said that the government announcement of an immediate ceasefire is “not important” saying Gaddafi is “bluffing”

@Imadou: [13]The ceasefire is the result of last night's decision and Gaddafi watching old tapes of Saddam's final months…

@freedom4libya: [14]#Gadhafi announcing ceasefire. His deathsquads everywhere not covered by ceasefire. #LibyanTNC please be aware of his games. #Libya united.

@hamzamu: [15]Gaddafi is moving many dead bodies to suspected targets UN may attack in order to claim them as victims of UN #libya

@iyad_elbaghdadi: [16]To those asking about Gaddafi's “cease fire”, it's a pathetic ploy. Attacks on Misurata continue and shooting protesters continues. #Libya

@evanchill: [17]Regime ceasefire calculation? Continued assault = assured destruction. Cease fire = survival + control of capital and major oil facilities.

@richardengelnbc: [18]#libya.. Question is will libya really stop offensive? Reports of ongong assault in misrata. Announcing a ceasefire and doing it v different

@freelibyanyouth: [19]Misratah still being attacked after Koussa announces ceasefire! There has to be an implementation of the resolution! #libya

Attacks around the country
Here is some news from the ground. For the past few days, Gaddafi forces have been attacking Misurata [20], going so far as to claim the city was under government control. However, those attacks continue [21] on Friday, March 18 on Libya's third-largest city:

@Dima_Khatib: [22]Gaddafi supposedly announced a cease fire but he is now breaking his own cease fire in Misurata #libya #feb17

@ShababLibya: [23]Misrata facing heavy shelling, gun fire in residential areas as well as sniper fire. Arabiya reports 4 dead 70 wounded #Libya #Feb17

@bilalr: [24]Misurata resident tells #AlJazeera that city been assault by some 25 tanks – casualties rising. More on Libya Live Blog http://aje.me/fSUeNg

@libi4ever: [25]1 martyr in Misrata right now, the city still under heavy bombing #libya

@libi4ever: [26]Misrata under heavy fire, qadfi wants to destroy it be4 he leaves #libya

@AhmedW: [27]Misrata stay strong!! احمد وريث #Libya #Feb17

@Tripolinero: [28]
Gunfire and heavy artillery clashes b/w forces and rebels at South of #Ajdabiya-so much 4 the cease fire #Gaddafi you habitual liar! #Libya

Warning: Graphic Content. Here is a video, uploaded by marco1702 [29] last week, showing fighting in Misurata.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pIlI5wMZsjc [30]

Tweeps also report fighting in other parts of the country.

@ShababLibya: [31]Gaddafi claims a ceasefire to buy him more time, heavy clashes currently taking place from Zintan to Ajdabia, snipers in Misrata #Libya

@freedom4libya: [32]City of #Zintan is under attack.

Continued fighting leads a few to wonder the effectiveness of a no-fly zone:

@Antiwarcom: [33]Despite alleged cease-fire, Misrata attacks continue, NFZ has no effect on tanks, guns http://bit.ly/eX9who #

Rumors fly of explosions in Tripoli:

@feb17voices: [34]AJE correspondent reports hearing 3 large explosions in past 1/2 hour in #Tripoli unlike anything she's heard since being in #Libya. #Feb17

@ShababLibya: [35]Very large explosions heard and continuing west of Tripoli #Libya #Feb17 #gaddaficrimes

@Thanku4theAnger: [36]Seems bombing of Gaddafi forces in #Tripoli has commenced by NFZ forces. 3 large explosions heard today unlike anything before in past hour

Debating the No-Fly Zone
Let's step back a minute a cover some of the debate on the no-fly zone. Some say it is too little too late.

@LibyaNewMedia: [37]Only see reports of new meetings, new discussions while nobody listens to the Libyan people. Kinda foresaw this yesterday. No trust & hope.

@Vettcrazz: [38]Those people over in #libya will be a mass exodus because of no food or water,same with yemen and iran.NFZ COMPLETE HOAX.#LIBYA IS HUNGRY

@Lqkas: [39]#UNSC finally reached resolution on #Libya. But now seems much bloodshed could hav been avoided if reached earlier. #Gaddafi #ceasefire #NFZ

@LailaLalami: [40]I still don't know how I feel about the #NFZ and the upcoming strikes in #Libya. These things haven't worked out too well in the past…

To counter the perception that a no-fly zone won't change military realities on the ground, reports have surfaced that anti-Gaddafi forces are now publicly receiving weapons from abroad.

@shadihamid: [41]
RT @evanchill: US & Libyan rebel officials say Egypt has begun shipping small arms to the rebels: http://ow.ly/4gTa9

I couldn't find much on what the opposition forces feel about the UN's actions, but I did come across this:

@libi4ever: [42]#Libya won't go back to the past, we are going to the future without Qadfi and his family

@libi4ever: [43]
I can't imagine Qadfis end, will he escape, will he kill himself, will revolutionaries catch him, I'm dying to know #libya