This post will pull together material on the Libyan crisis. It is a chronology, not an analysis. I will pull from Al Jazeera, The Washington Post, and the New York Times. I will also review Al Masry Al Youm. I will put up a new post on a weekly basis, or as needed. WMB
Review of Libyan Conflict
The unrest in Libya began on February 15, 2011. The main reasons for the protests were the lack of political freedom, the spread of corruption under the Qadaffi regime, and the need to expand freedom of speech. (Need Citation) Thousands turned out peacefully in Benghazi holding signs and chanting to challenge Colonel Muammar Qaddafi's 41 year strongman rule. On February 26, 2011, The UN Security council called for a no-fly zone in Libya.
On March 3, 2011, The Arab League asked Qadaffi to stop the bloodshed. "The Arab resolution called on the Libyan government to respond to the "legitimate demands of the Libyan people" and to stop bloodshed. The Libyan authorities must lift restrictions on media and mobile networks and allow the delivery of aid." Libya was suspended from the Arab League. The Secretary General of the Arab League is Amr Moussa, a likely Egyptian Presidential Candidate. On March 13, the Arab League endorsed the concept of a no-fly zone over Libya. On March 17, 2011, the United Nations Security Council passed a resolution calling for military action in Libya.
According to the Nation, in an article entitled Libya and the Dilemma of Intervention Libya and the Dilemma of Intervention published on March 18, 2011, the UN Security Council took some diplomatic steps before authorizing military intervention. The UN Security Council mandated freezing the regime's assets, imposing sanctions on Qadaffi and his associates, and organizing humanitarian assistance.
On March 19, 2011, The US, France and Britain launched air strikes to enforce the no-fly zone. According to Kenya's Nation Newspaper, on March 20,The African Union's panel on Libya on Sunday called for an "immediate stop" to all attacks on Libya.The AU committee on Libya is composed of five African heads of state. But the Nouakchott meeting was only attended by the presidents of Mauritania, Mali and Congo. South Africa and Uganda were represented by ministers
On March 21, Libya Released four New York Times journalists. Stephen Farrell, Tyler Hicks, Lynsey Addario and Anthony Shadid were captured while covering the conflict between Loyalist and Rebel forces in Libya in the eastern city of Adjabiya. The journalists were tied up, all were punched on a daily basis. The female journalist was fondled, groped and beaten. They were threatened with death and denied food. According to the New York Times "Others have died. A Libyan broadcaster was killed Saturday while covering a battle near Benghazi. A cameraman for Al Jazeera was killed in the same area on March 12, the first death of a journalist in Libya during the current conflict."
On March 24th, according to Al Jazeera, air strikes are not deterring Qadaffi. Western war planes bombed Libya for a fifth night, but Libya is still shelling the opposition. The US says it has successfully established a no-fly zone over Libya's coastal areas. The allies have flown 175 sorties in 114 hours, and the US has flown 113 of those. The Washington Post reports the US and its allies are straining to maintain Arab support for the conflict in Libya. Egyptian officials are worried that the conflict will spill over the border. Qatar has deployed fighter jets in the region, and could help enforce the no-fly zone in coming days, although no action has actually been taken yet.
According to the Washington Post, Libyan rebels pushed toward Gaddafi’s home town Gaddafi's home town of Sirte on March 29, 2011. Rebels claim to have captured the towns of Nawfaliyah and Harawah in their advance west. Libya’s ground troops are allegedly in retreat, and rebel forces are within 80 miles of Sirte. French President Nicolas Sarkozy and British Prime Minister David Cameron have issued a joint statement that “Gaddafi must go immediately.” Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Larvrov says the West has exceeded the March 17, 2011 Security Council Resolution. The Persian Gulf emirate of Qatar has become the first Arab country to formally recognize the rebels’ Transitional National Council as Libya’s legitimate government.