To See the Interview With Abayomi Azikiwe, editor of Pan-African News
Wire, Click on the URL Below:
PressTV - 'NATO at war with Libyan population'
Mon Jun 20, 2011 6:8PM
NATO has admitted that it has killed at least 15 civilians in one of
its attacks on a residential area near the Libyan capital of Tripoli.
The Western military alliance said one of its airstrikes on Tripoli
early on Sunday did not hit its intended target.
NATO said a weapons system failure may have caused the incident.
In an interview with Press TV, Abayomi Azikiwe, editor of Pan-African
News Wire, discusses the current situation in Libya.
Press TV: NATO's air raids continue killing innocent civilians. How
long will the UN let these innocent civilians be used as casualties
for a greater cause?
Azikiwe: Well, it is unfortunate that this is going on. As you just
reported, the Libyan government is saying that nine civilians have
been killed in these latest air strikes. This is really unfortunate,
it is outrageous, and the people of the United States, and I believe
the people of the NATO countries, do not support this type of
unwarranted and illegal killing of civilians or any one in another
country which has not attacked the United States; it has not attacked
any other NATO countries.
These are not the first civilian casualties that have been reported in
regard to the US and NATO bombings of Libya, many other civilians have
been killed. There were attempts made on the life of the leader of the
country. His youngest son was killed; three of his grand children were
killed. They have bombed schools, communications facilities, ports and
ships that are involved in commercial activities in the country.
So, this is really an illegal war, a total violation of not only
international law, but also the constitutional law of the United
States. That is why the House of Representatives has passed a
resolution, to block funding for the continued war in Libya, and this
is not popular at all in the United States. 60 percent of the people
in the United States openly oppose what is going on in Libya.
Press TV: US President Barack Obama says not to use the word
“hostilities” with America's involvement in Libya. Defense Secretary
Robert Gates calls America's actions a limited kinetic operation. Is
that not contradictory to US's involvement in the war-torn country,
and especially, the resolution of 1973?
Azikiwe: Well, it has been reported that over a million people have
been displaced from Libya. There are civilians that are dying, not
only from NATO bombs, but from lack of food, medicine, and clean
drinking water. There are migrant workers and refugees who are
stranded at sea, whose boats have capsized, who have been left at sea
by NATO and the other humanitarian groups who have claimed they are
operating in Libya including the United Nations, [are left] to die of
thirst, to die of starvation.
This is clearly a war against the population of a country. There is no
way that it can be explained as a limited operation. Civilians are
dying, government personnel are dying. People have been displaced in
the hundreds of thousands. The conditions of refugees in Tunisia are
just deplorable and all of this could have been prevented if the US
and the NATO forces had worked with the African Union to try to devise
some type of peaceful resolution to the conflict inside of Libya.
Any time you set out to overthrow a government of a country, the
people are going to resist you, and this is what is going on in Libya.
They have been bombing the country now for three months, for three
whole months, and the government there has not broken and they say
they are not going to surrender, so how many more bombs are they
willing to drop? How many poor civilians are they willing to kill? How
many more Libyans are they willing to attack in order to achieve what
they claim as a victory against this country of six million people?
Press TV: That was a great point you just made, and that brings it to
my final question. With that being said, what kind of time span do you
give for Muammar Gaddafi and his regime, how much time do they have
Azikiwe: I have no idea how much time the Libyan people have left. I
am not viewing this as a war against Gaddafi as the leader, because
they have destroyed the property of the ports, the government
installations, the civilian lives of the people of Libya. Whether they
support the government or they are in opposition to the government,
they are still being killed. There are people who support Transitional
National Council (TNC) and their fighters have been killed as well by
the NATO forces.
So, it doesn't matter who they say they are supporting, people on both
sides are being killed. The TNC [Transitional National Council]
supporters are being killed by NATO, and so are the supporters of the
Libyan government. So, I think it would be wise for the people of
Libya to try to resolve their own internal problems themselves, and
not rely on NATO to try to solve their problems, because it has
resulted in a calamity for both the supporters of the government as
well as the opposition of the government. And what the African Union
has advocated, they have advocated a peaceful resolution to this
conflict, [i.e.] negotiations, and the immediate assistance of
civilians and those who are in need of humanitarian aid.