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All Eyes On Libya

Sarah Holmes Sarah Holmes | 09:34 UK time, Thursday, 24 February 2011

Photo showing protesters in Benghazi celebrating their takeover of the city


This topic was discussed on World Have Your Say on 24 February 2011. Listen to the programme.

After the events of the last week, it seems everyone is waiting to see what Colonel Gaddafi will decide to do next?

There has been widespread condemnation from world leaders. On Wednesday President Obama spoke for the first time in a televised speech.

The United States also strongly supports the universal rights of the Libyan people. That includes the rights of peaceful assembly, free speech, and the ability of the Libyan people to determine their own destiny. These are human rights. They are not negotiable. They must be respected in every country. And they cannot be denied through violence or suppression.

You can read the full text here.

Many other leaders have also spoken out against the violence of Colonel Gaddafi's regime against protesters.

The Independent's Robert Fisk, one of the only journalists who has been able to report from Tripoli, said the streets were quiet on Wednesday, with no sign of opposition anywhere.

Squads of young men with Kalashnikov rifles stood on the side roads next to barricades of upturned chairs and wooden doors. But these were pro-Gaddafi vigilantes...and had pinned photographs of their leader's infamous Green Book to their checkpoint signs.

There is conflicting information about the situation in Libya, as there has been all week, but it appears that the eastern parts of the country are firmly under the control of anti-government protesters. Many of the army units stationed there have defected.

But the BBC's Frank Gardner says this will not worry Colonel Gaddafi because he has a strong and brutal security force under his control.

In Benghazi, Libya's second city, which was taken over by protesters last weekend, people there are arming themselves in preparation to fight for Tripoli. One resident told Al-Arabiya:

The idea is to "take their weapons and march toward Tripoli

Speaking to the UK based Financial Times, Colonel Gaddafi's son, Saadi, said that his father would stay on as the big father in any future government.

He claimed that 85 per cent of the country was "very calm" and that army battalions were ready to strike at protesters.

But, new footage on Facebook apparrently showed an opposition flag being raised in Zawiya, 30 miles west of Tripoli.

Colonel Gaddafi's control is being eroded but he seems determined to hang onto power. According to this report in the New York Times:

Witnesses said on Wednesday that thousands of members of this irregular army were massing on roads to the capital, Tripoli, where one resident described scenes evocative of anarchic Somalia.

What will Colonel Gaddafi do next?

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